Astronaut Don Thomas, Veteran of 'Repeat' Shuttle Mission, Turns 60 Today

Don Thomas, pictured in March 2002, during training for Expedition 6. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Don Thomas—one of only four humans to have flown Shuttle Columbia as many as three times, joint record-holder for the shortest interval between two discrete space flights, and a member of 1995’s famous “All-Ohio Mission”—turns 60 today (Wednesday, 6 […]

SpaceX Prepares for Latest in Long History of Critical Pad Abort Tests (Part 1)

The LJ-1B Little Joe mission launches from Wallops on 21 January 1960, carrying “Miss Sam”, the second rhesus passenger, on a critical Pad Abort Test for Project Mercury. Photo Credit: NASA

Following the recent successes of the CRS-6 Dragon launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) on 14 April and last week’s flight of […]

'The Lord Protected Grandpa': 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 2)

During the majority of the seven-day mission, Challenger operated in a gravity gradient orientation, with her vertical stabilizer directed Earthward and her starboard wing pointing in the direction of travel. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, a seven-man crew with a combined age of 340 years rocketed into orbit […]

'Education Can Take You Anywhere': Teacher-Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger Turns 40 Today

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger is pictured close to the window in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), during STS-131 in April 2010. Photo Credit: NASA

More than five years have now passed since Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger—geologist, astronomer, cross-country runner, and the first Space Camp alumnus ever to journey beyond Earth’s atmosphere and into […]

A Long Wait for Space: 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 1)

Challenger roars into orbit on 29 April 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, Challenger was circling the Earth on the first dedicated Spacelab science flight of the shuttle era. For seven days, the crew of Mission 51B—Commander Bob Overmyer, Pilot Fred Gregory, Mission Specialists Don Lind, Norm Thagard, and […]

SpaceX, NASA Discuss Forthcoming Dragon Pad Abort Test

SpaceX Vice President of Mission Assurance Hans Koenigsmann (left) and NASA Commercial Crew Program Partner Manager Jon Cowart take questions during today’s Pad Abort Test Briefing at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Photo Credit: NASA

Barely a week since the successful launch of the TurkmenÄlem52E/MonacoSat payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), SpaceX will again […]

'I Went Flying, All Right!' Remembering Challenger Pilot Mike Smith on His 70th Birthday

Mike Smith, the pilot of Challenger’s final mission. Photo Credit: NASA

When we think of “astronauts,” we think of the hundreds of heroes who have voyaged beyond the sensible atmosphere, into low-Earth orbit, and beyond, into cislunar space, lunar orbit, and even the dusty surface of the Moon itself. However, it is a sad […]

Record-Setting SpaceX Roars to Geostationary Orbit With Spectacular Falcon 9 Launch

 

The fifth Falcon 9 v1.1 of 2015 roars into iron-gray skies on Monday, 27 April, 49 minutes into its 90-minute window. Photo Credit: John Studwell/AmericaSpace

Despite ominous gray cloud cover over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.—and a seemingly inevitable likelihood of a scrub—SpaceX successfully “threaded the needle” and exploited a fortunate improvement […]

Second SpaceX Mission in Two Weeks Gears Up for Monday Launch

Since its maiden voyage in September 2013, the Falcon 9 v1.1 has delivered payloads into low-Earth orbit, Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and onto Earth-escape trajectories to the L2 Lagrange Point. Photo Credit SpaceX

Less than two weeks since the rousing launch of the CRS-6 Dragon cargo mission toward the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX […]

'Somebody Get a Camera': 25 Years Since the Launch of Hubble (Part 2)

Twenty-five years after its April 1990 launch, the iconic Hubble Space Telescope remains functional. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, yesterday, on 24 April 1990, one of the most important missions in the annals of scientific discovery got underway, with the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history article, […]