Dawn of an Era: Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Launch

 

Thirty-four years ago, today, at dawn, Columbia roared into orbit, heralding the dawn of a new era in U.S. space exploration. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-four years ago, today, on 12 April 1981, the first winged orbital space vehicle carrying human pilots was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

Rosetta Team Completely Rethinking Comet Close Encounter Strategy

This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image was taken from a distance of 77.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 22 March 2015. The image has a resolution of 6.6 m/pixel and measures 6 x 6 km. The image is cropped and processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. […]

Buried Glaciers Have Enough Ice to Cover Entire Surface of Mars, According to New Study

Image of dust-covered glaciers on Mars from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express. The glaciers are composed of water ice. Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

When the topic of ice on Mars comes up, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the polar ice caps which are prominent even in small […]

NASA's New Horizons Begins Pluto Approach Phase-2 for July Encounter

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The spacecraft has enetered Approach Phase 2 earlier this month, swinging the mission’s science observations into high gear. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

If one were to characterise NASA’s New Horizons mission, it […]

Heavyweight Payload for Science to Accompany SpaceX's Next ISS-Bound Dragon

The CRS-6 mission is the sixth dedicated Dragon cargo flight under the language of SpaceX’s $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Credit: NASA

SpaceX is gearing up for the next round of its most ambitious year of launches and tests to date, with next week’s scheduled flight of the sixth dedicated […]

New Crew Settles In While Ongoing Research Continues for Expedition 43 on ISS

All six Expedition 43 crew members gathered in the Destiny laboratory on board the International Space Station on March 30, 2015, after an emergency procedures training period. Photo Credit: NASA

SPACE STATION WEEKLY UPDATE March 30 – April 5, 2015 — As the three new crew members of Expedition 43 settled in last week, ongoing science […]

Curiosity Discovers Biochemically Accessible Nitrogen, Key Ingredient Needed for Martian Life

Curiosity detected biochemically accessible nitrogen here at John Klein drill site! Curiosity accomplished historic first drilling into Martian rock at John Klein outcrop on Feb 8, 2013 (Sol 182), and discovered a habitable zone, shown in this context mosaic view of the Yellowknife Bay basin taken on Jan. 26 (Sol 169). The robotic arm […]

Opportunity Arrives at Alien Gateway to Clay Minerals at Spirit of St. Louis Crater

The View from Opportunity on Mars Today Opportunity arrives at Spirit of Saint Louis crater and peers into Marathon Valley and Endeavour crater from current location on Mars as of April 3, 2015, in this photo mosaic. The crater is the gateway to Marathon Valley and exposures of water altered clay minerals. This pancam […]

NASA Partners With Commercial Industry to Advance Deep Space Exploration Capabilities

A view of the space habitat at night, docked with the Space Exploration Vehicle. This photo was taken during the 2010 Desert RATS field testing, from Aug. 31 - Sept. 15, 2010, in Black Point Lava Flow, Ariz. Image credit: NASA

A space habitat at night, docked with a “Space Exploration Vehicle.” This photo was taken during the 2010 Desert RATS field testing, from Aug. 31 – Sept. 15, 2010, in Black Point Lava Flow, Ariz. Image credit: NASA

This week, NASA announced the selection of 12 partnerships within the commercial industry to help develop the […]

Stretching the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the EDO Decision

Columbia is approached by servicing vehicles on the runway on 7 December 1996, after concluding STS-80, the shuttle program’s longest Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, NASA and Rockwell International reached a historic agreement which would, both figuratively and literally, “extend” the shuttle and its myriad capabilities […]