Independence Weekend: Launches, Landings, and Working in Space on the Fourth of July (Part 2)

The Stars and Stripes floats inside the multi-windowed cupola of the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six … Go for Main Engine Start … ”

It was a familiar preamble from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) launch commentator which closely mirrored the final seconds before each of the […]

Independence Weekend: Launches, Landings, and Working in Space on the Fourth of July (Part 1)

 

Thirty-three years ago, today, on 4 July 1982, the crew of STS-4 became the first U.S. astronauts to spend Independence Day in space. It also marked the date of their spectacular return to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA

On the morning of 4 July 1982, a rapidly moving black and white […]

Let's Hear It for Leon: Hard-to-Find Space Artifacts To Be Auctioned From Leon Ford's Collection

This backpack strap, worn on the lunar surface by Apollo 12 commander Charles "Pete" Conrad, is one of the items from Leon Ford's collection up for auction this week. Photo Credit: RR Auction

This backpack strap, worn on the lunar surface by Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, is one of the items from Leon Ford’s collection up for auction this week. Photo Credit: RR Auction

In the world of space enthusiasts and collectors, one couldn’t find someone more dedicated than the late Leon Ford, who passed […]

'The Sultans of Space': 30 Years Since the Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 2)

Pictured on Discovery’s aft flight deck, the STS-51G crew featured three discrete sovereign nations for the first time in shuttle history. Front row, from left, are John Creighton, Shannon Lucid, and Dan Brandenstein, with Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Steve Nagel, John Fabian, and Patrick Baudry in the background. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, on […]

'The Sultans of Space': 30 Years Since the Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 1)

By the end of his seven days in space, Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had given up looking for his own country, or even his own continent, and came to realize that all humans belonged to just “One World.” It is a message which continues to resonate today. Photo Credit: NASA

Three decades ago, on 17 […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 1—'One Small Step'

One of the relatively few images of Neil Armstrong at work on the lunar surface, close to Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

On Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, Texas, was filled with tension and expectant quiet. […]

Second-Longest Space Station Expedition to End Thursday

The Soyuz TMA-15M crew, clad in their Sokol (Falcon) launch and entry suits, will return to Earth on Thursday, after more than 199 days in orbit. Photo Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

The Soyuz TMA-15M crew, clad in their Sokol (Falcon) launch and entry suits, will return to Earth on Thursday, after more than 199 days in orbit. Photo Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

After more than 28 weeks aloft, the “core” of Expedition 43—the 43rd crew to live and work aboard the International Space Station […]

Top Ten US EVAs of All Time: No. 2—'What We Came For'

Dave Scott works with the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) on the slopes of Hadley Rille during Apollo 15. Photo Credit: NASA

More than four decades have passed since one of the most brilliant missions ever undertaken in the annals of space science. Apollo 15, launched in July 1971, carried U.S. astronauts Dave Scott, Al […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 5—'Just Building a Space Station'

Jim Newman waves to Jerry Ross’ camera whilst working outside the Unity node on STS-88. Photo Credit: NASA

For over 16 years, a bright star has nightly graced Earth’s skies, easily visible to the naked eye, serving to pique our curiosity and inspire our minds. Now, in 2015, the International Space Station (ISS) is […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 7—’We've Got a Satellite!’

With the possible exception of Columbia and the very first space shuttle mission, few orbiters had as dramatic and exciting a maiden voyage as Endeavour. On STS-49, she provided a reliable stage for the longest EVA in history and the first three-man EVA in history. Photo Credit: NASA

“Ready. Ready. Grab!”

The words of […]