'Obviously A Major Malfunction': 30 Years Since the Loss of Challenger (Part 1)

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger's tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, on 28 January 1986, one of the worst and most public disasters in U.S. space history unfolded with horrifying suddenness in the […]

On Challenger's 30th Anniversary, NASA Reflects On its Fallen Heroes

Floral tributes offer a touch of color against the drab gray and black of the Space Mirror Memorial and the day itself. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

For NASA, the fourth and fifth weeks of each year have always carried a somber mood of reflection and resolve, in which the glories of past successes—including Voyager […]

'How Adaptable Humans Are': 20 Years Since STS-72 (Part 2)

With an octagonal centerpiece, to honor the Space Flyer Unit (SFU), the STS-72 crew patch highlighted each of the mission's core objectives, as well as the surnames of the crew. Image Credit: NASA

Grappled by Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, the Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU) satellite is readied for installation in the payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, last week, in January 1996, Shuttle Endeavour and a six-man crew—Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Brent Jett, and Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao, […]

'Your Big Chance': 30 Years Since the Spacewalking Spectacular of Mission 61B (Part 1)

In the earliest EVA demonstration of building a space station, Jerry Ross and Woody Spring assemble the EASE tetrahedron in Atlantis’ payload bay. Their flight, Mission 61B, began 30 years ago, next week. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, next week, something unprecedented in the entire history of the shuttle program […]

'Ice Cream Sandwiches': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 2)

The orange-colored Docking Module (DM) is clearly visible at the extreme end of the Kristall module in this view of Mir, as seen by the departing crew of STS-74. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For 15 years, Americans and Russians have lived together, on a continuous basis, aboard the International Space Station (ISS). […]

'A Real Thrill': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 1)

Becoming the first Canadian to operate the shuttle’s Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS), Chris Hadfield installs the Docking Module (DM) atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS), ahead of the shuttle’s second docking mission to Mir, 20 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The second is rarely remembered in the same […]

'This True American Icon': Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 5)

The final launch, Atlantis STS-135. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The final launch, Atlantis STS-135. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

A string of “Go” calls—interspersed with an occasional poignant remark about the contributions of the Space Shuttle program over three decades of operational service—reached the ears of Launch Director Mike Leinbach, seated at his console in the Launch Control Center (LCC) at the […]

Cosmic Ballet: Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 4)

 

Between June 1995 and October 1997, Atlantis completed no fewer than seven dockings with Russia’s Mir space station, more than twice as many as any of her sister orbiters combined. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, in October 1985, Atlantis became the fourth member of NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet to launch […]

On Opposing Sides of Tragedy: Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 3)

Jerry Ross participates in the assembly of the EASE and ACCESS structures on Mission 61B in the fall of 1985. Ross became the first person to fly Atlantis twice and three times and is the only human to have flown her on as many as five occasions. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty […]

'I'm Not Worthy': Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 2)

During almost 26 years of operational service, Atlantis flew 33 missions, travelled an estimated 125.9 million miles (202.7 million km), circled Earth 4,848 times, and spent over 306 cumulative days in orbit. She is the second most-flown member of NASA’s shuttle fleet, after Discovery. Photo Credit: NASA

For the crew of STS-132, it was […]