'As Long As It's Not a Hurricane': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of Norm Thagard (Part 2)

Norm Thagard and Bonnie Dunbar participate in Soyuz-TM training in October 1994. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, the first U.S. astronaut in history was launched in a non-U.S. spacecraft, from a non-U.S. nation, with a crew entirely composed of non-U.S. comrades. Four-time shuttle veteran Norm Thagard had spent more than a […]

'To Live Like Russians': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of Norm Thagard (Part 1)

Twenty years ago, this week, NASA astronaut Norm Thagard embarked on the United States’ first long-duration space station expedition in more than two decades. Photo Credit: NASA

Today, in 2015, it seems hard to imagine U.S. astronauts being totally unaccustomed to long-duration spaceflight. Over the past two decades, around 50 Americans—from civilian medical doctors […]

Alexei Gubarev, Commander of First International Mission to Space Station, Dies Aged 83


The first “international” crew aboard the Salyut 6 space station in March 1978 consisted of (from left) Vladimir Remek, Alexei Gubarev, Georgi Grechko, and Yuri Romanenko. Gubarev and Grechko had previously flown together to Salyut 4 in early 1975. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Former cosmonaut Alexei Gubarev—who commanded a month-long mission to the […]

Workhorse Progress Freighter Set to Launch to Space Station on Tuesday

A Progress cargo ship approaches the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

The continuous relay of unpiloted resupply craft visiting and departing the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to continue Tuesday, with the launch of Russia’s Progress M-26M atop a Soyuz-U booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff of the mammoth […]

'The Most Complex So Far': What 2003 Might Have Been

Columbia roars into orbit for the 28th and final time on 16 January 2003. Eighty-two seconds into the ascent, a chunk of foam from her External Tank would spell disaster for the outcome of STS-107. Photo Credit: NASA

Twelve years ago, last weekend, Shuttle Columbia and the crew of STS-107—Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie […]

So 'Year' and Yet So Far: Humanity's Previous Ultra-Marathon Space Missions (Part 2)

Valeri Polyakov, pictured at Mir’s windows during the STS-63 shuttle rendezvous mission in February 1995, is the incumbent record-holder for the longest single spaceflight. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, today, on 9 January 1995, cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov seized the empirical crown for the longest single space mission in history, as […]

Science, Maintenance, Public Outreach, and New Crew Arrival Highlight Busy Week on Station

Expedition 42 Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Elena Serova works in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

SPACE STATION WEEKLY UPDATE Nov. 17 – Nov. 23, 2014 — Expedition 42 Astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore and cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev kept busy aboard the International Space Station (ISS) last week […]

ESA's 'Discovery Machine' Gets Ready for Science: Gaia Concludes Commissioning Phase, Begins Primary Five-Year Mission

Artist’s concept of the Gaia. Having recently completed a rigorous test and commissioning phase, the space observatory began its five-year primary science mission of mapping and cataloguing approximately 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Image Credit: ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

Following the successful conclusion of a very demanding and extensive six-month commissioning period, […]

Arianespace Soyuz-Fregat Delivers European Radar-Imaging Satellite Into Orbit

The Soyuz-Fregat vehicle launches the Sentinel-1A radar-imaging satellite at 6:02 p.m. GFT (5:02 p.m. EDT) Thursday, 3 April. Photo Credit: Arianespace

Arianespace—the Paris, France-headquartered launch services organization, which operates Ariane, Vega, and Soyuz vehicles from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana—has successfully lofted Europe’s Sentinel-1A radar-imaging satellite into orbit. Liftoff of Arianespace’s […]

'Is My Hair Gray?': The Story of Soyuz 4 and 5 (Part 2)

Possible scenario for how the ill-fated re-entry of Boris Volynov may have occurred. Soyuz 5 began its fall from orbit with the descent module’s hatch facing into the direction of travel, thus exposing the least-protected part of the spacecraft to the most extreme thermal stresses. Image Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

To Yevgeni Khrunov the first […]