Through the Lens: OSIRIS-REX Begins Epic 7-Year Mission to Asteroid Bennu and Back

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Liftoff of the highly reliable Atlas V—flying in its rarely-used “411” configuration, and is now in the process of being delivered out of Earth’s gravitational clutches as it begins a two-year journey to reach Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Earlier this week, ULA successfully […]

'Would You Believe M=1?' 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 1)

Pete Conrad (foreground) and Dick Gordon, with dark EVA visor, are pictured aboard Gemini IX. Both men later journeyed to the Moon together on Apollo 12. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon’s Gemini XI mission would carry them to a peak 850 miles (1,370 km), which remains the highest altitude of any Earth-orbital mission. Only the Apollo lunar flights traveled higher on their expeditions to the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Not all astronauts get on with […]

Expedition 48 Crew Wraps Up Six-Month Space Station Mission

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States' most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States’ most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

After more than 172 days in space, U.S. national-record-breaking astronaut Jeff Williams and his Russian crewmates Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka have landed […]

Camping Without Marshmallows: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 2)

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Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean are barely visible, slightly right-of-center, working on the P-3/P-4 truss during EVA-2. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this month, the crew of Shuttle Atlantis—Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson, and Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, and Canada’s Steve MacLean—roared into orbit to restart the construction […]

NASA's InSight Mission to Mars Approved for Spring 2018 Launch

Artist's conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight mission to Mars will now go ahead as planned, it was announced today. After a delay due to a vacuum leak last December, with a launch originally slated for last March, it was unclear whether the mission would still be […]

In For the Long Haul: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 1)

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

At first glance, shuttle […]

Orion EM-1 Taking Shape at KSC, Spacecraft's LAS Jettison Motors Continue Testing

From NASA: "The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft's critical systems, including propellant lines." Photo Credit: NASA

From NASA: “The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft’s critical systems, including propellant lines.” Photo Credit: NASA

Nearly two years after NASA successfully completed the […]

World's Most Experienced Female Astronaut Discusses Upcoming ISS Expedition

The Soyuz MS-03 crew of (from left) Oleg Novitsky, Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet will form the second half of Expedition 50, before rotating into the core of Expedition 51. Their 180-day increment is expected to run from 16 November 2016 through 15 May 2017. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

The Soyuz MS-03 crew of (from left) Oleg Novitsky, Peggy Whitson, and Thomas Pesquet will form the second half of Expedition 50, before rotating into the core of Expedition 51. Their 180-day increment is expected to run from 16 November 2016 through 15 May 2017. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

The world’s most experienced female […]

'Easier to Destroy Than Create': 15 Years Since STS-105 (Part 2)

Newly stocked and newly staffed, the International Space Station (ISS) disappears into the blackness as Discovery departs. Photo Credit: NASA

STS-105 Mission Specialist Dan Barry translates along the U.S. Destiny lab during one of the flight’s two EVAs. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years have now passed since Shuttle Discovery dropped off and picked up crew members at the International Space Station (ISS) and supported a pair of Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) to transition the multi-national […]

Nearly There: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Being Readied for Sept. 8 Launch

An artist's rendering of OSIRIS-REx at asteroid 101955 Bennu. Its solar arrays will be configured in a "Y-wing" shape to avoid dust accumulation. Image Credit: NASA

An artist’s rendering of OSIRIS-REx at asteroid 101955 Bennu. Image Credit: NASA

The last decade has proven to be watershed years for deep space exploration. While the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft proved a small lander could be set down upon a rocky comet, other missions including NASA’s Curiosity rover, Dawn, and New […]