Summer of Discontent: 25 Years Since the Shuttle Hydrogen Leaks (Part 2)

In one of the most historic shuttle-era photographs ever taken, this image shows the STS-38/Atlantis stack (at right) returning to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for repairs on 9 August 1990. In doing so, it passed the STS-35/Columbia stack (at left), which was returning to the launch pad after several weeks of extensive repair […]

Summer of Discontent: 25 Years Since the Shuttle Hydrogen Leaks (Part 1)

Pictured in September 1990, the problem-plagued STS-35 stack is shown in the foreground, on Pad 39A, with the STS-41 stack in the background on Pad 39B. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, in the summer of 1990, the shuttle program was in chaos. Less than two years since the resumption of flight operations in […]

CST-100 Spacecraft Development Moves Forward in Former Shuttle Hangar

One of two pressurized domes for the “shell” of the Structural Test Article (STA) of Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft undergoes checkout. Photo Credit: NASA

Less than a year since winning a $4.2 billion slice of the $6.8 billion Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract—the current phase of NASA’s effort to return U.S. astronauts to space, […]

'Cola and Solar Wars': 30 Years Since the Unlucky Success of Mission 51F (Part 2)

The Instrument Pointing System (IPS) was flown for the first time on Mission 51F. It would later be reflown on a pair of dedicated astronomy missions in 1990 and 1995. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Three decades have now passed since one of the most dramatic missions—and one of the most dramatic months—in […]

'Going to Spain': 30 Years Since the Unlucky Success of Mission 51F (Part 1)

After one false start, Challenger roars into orbit on 29 July 1985, to begin the Spacelab-2 science mission. It would be one of the most dramatic near-misses in the 30-year shuttle program. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, one of the most significant Space Shuttle science missions ever undertaken hung—for the merest […]

Soyuz TMA-17M Crew Rockets to Orbit, Bound for Five Months Aboard Space Station

The Soyuz TMA-17M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, July 23, 2015, carrying Expedition 44 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren of NASA, and Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) into orbit to begin their five […]

All-Civilian Soyuz TMA-17M Crew Ready for Wednesday Launch to Space Station (Part 2)

The Soyuz TMA-17M prime and backup crews participate in a traditional tree-planting ceremony, ahead of launch. From left are Tim Peake, Tim Kopra, Yuri Malenchenko, Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui, and Kjell Lindgren. Photo Credit: NASA

Three new spacefarers will rocket toward the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 July), destined to spend about […]

Sleeping On Alien Shores: The Unquiet Slumbers of the Apollo Moonwalkers

Covered in lunar grime, and clad only in his water-cooled underwear, Gene Cernan manages a grin for Jack Schmitt’s camera, aboard the Lunar Module (LM) Challenger during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The astronauts’ space suits can be seen, stashed at the back of the cramped cabin. Above the helmets can be […]

All-Civilian Soyuz TMA-17M Crew Ready for Wednesday Launch to Space Station (Part 1)

Soyuz TMA-17M Commander Oleg Kononenko (center) will be embarking on his third long-duration voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). By contrast, Flight Engineer-1 Kimiya Yui (right) and Flight Engineer-2 Kjell Lindgren are making their first flights. Photo Credit: NASA

Clad in dark civilian suits, three soon-to-be spacefarers descended the aircraft steps at Baikonur […]

Partners in Space: 40 Years Since the Remarkable Voyage of Apollo-Soyuz (Part 4)

America’s Apollo, with its docking module (left), approaches Russia’s Soyuz for the first joint manned space exercise between the two superpowers in July 1975. This would mark the high-watermark of their relations, but the late 1970s would signal a harsh decline in friendship and bring them to the brink of war once again. Image […]