Gene Cernan, Last Apollo Moonwalker, Dies Aged 82

Gene Cernan salutes the U.S. flag at Taurus-Littrow in December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA

Gene Cernan salutes the U.S. flag at Taurus-Littrow in December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA

On 16 January, a day of reflection—the 14th anniversary of the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on her final mission—the world lost a shining light in the early annals of human space exploration. Retired Navy Capt. Gene Cernan, veteran of […]

'Asking Forgiveness': Celebrating the New Year in Space (Part 2)

Members of the Expedition 42 crew celebrate New Years Eve on the International Space Station (ISS) on 31 December 2014/1 January 2015. Photo Credit: Terry Virts / NASA (@AstroTerry via Twitter)

Members of the Expedition 42 crew celebrate New Years Eve on the International Space Station (ISS) on 31 December 2014/1 January 2015. Photo Credit: Terry Virts / NASA (@AstroTerry via Twitter)

Last night, six pairs of eyes were glued to the windows of the International Space Station (ISS), straining to catch a first glimpse of […]

'A Clockwork Not of Earthly Pace': Celebrating the New Year in Space (Part 1)

Tonight, six spacefarers from three sovereign nations will observe the transition from 2016 into 2017 from the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA/Scott Kelly/Twitter

Tonight, six spacefarers from three sovereign nations will observe the transition from 2016 into 2017 from the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA/Scott Kelly/Twitter

With a naval officer in command of the International Space Station (ISS), it might have seemed obvious that New Year’s Day 2001 would carry a corresponding nautical tradition. Expedition […]

'Collateral Damage Toll': Celebrating Christmas Away from the Home Planet (Part 2)

Expedition 26 crew members Scott Kelly (top) Paolo Nespoli (left) and Catherine 'Cady' Coleman bale out of their sleep stations in the Harmony node on Christmas morning in 2010 to celebrate the big day. Photo Credit: NASA

Expedition 26 crew members Scott Kelly (top) Paolo Nespoli (left) and Catherine “Cady” Coleman bale out of their sleep stations in the Harmony node on Christmas morning in 2010 to celebrate the big day. Photo Credit: NASA

As we observe the traditional date of Christ’s birth, spare a thought for the five men and […]

'All of You on the Good Earth': Celebrating Christmas Away from the Home Planet (Part 1)

With a fire unavailable, the Christmas stockings of consecutive International Space Station (ISS) crews have been hung by the hatch. With care, of course. Photo Credit: NASA

With a fire unavailable, the Christmas stockings of consecutive International Space Station (ISS) crews have been hung by the hatch—with care, of course. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time, a woman will record as many as two Christmases spent away from the Home Planet tomorrow (Sunday), whilst orbiting Earth aboard the International Space […]

'All Sorts of Planning Problems': 50 Years Since Apollo Took Steps to the Moon (Part 2)

In the months preceding John F. Kennedy's inauguration, NASA aimed for a circumlunar mission before the end of the 1960s. Photo Credit: NASA

Apollo 8 in December 1968 marked the first occasion on which humans had departed Earth’s gravitational “well,” entered cislunar space, and traveled to the Moon. The flight design originated from the “E-mission” of Apollo 3. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week—just three days before Christmas 1966—NASA announced the names of a group […]

'The Next Mission in the Schedule': 50 Years Since Apollo Took Steps to the Moon (Part 1)

Targeting a launch as early as August 1967, the Apollo 2 crew of (from left) Rusty Schweickart, Dave Scott and Jim McDivitt would have performed the inaugural test of the combined command, service and lunar modules in low-Earth orbit. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Targeting a launch as early as August 1967, the Apollo 2 crew of (from left) Rusty Schweickart, Dave Scott, and Jim McDivitt would have performed the inaugural test of the combined command, service, and lunar modules in low-Earth orbit. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Nearly five decades have passed since astronauts Virgil “Gus” […]

'Some Serious Fireworks': Celebrating Independence Day in Space (Part 2)

Throughout the 30-year Space Shuttle era, six missions were in orbit on Independence Day. Of those six, just one (STS-121) launched on the holiday and another (STS-4) landed on the holiday. Photo Credit: NASA

Commander Ken Mattingly and Pilot Hank Hartsfield salute President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan on Edwards’ concrete Runway 22 on Independence Day in 1982. Columbia is clearly visible in the background. Photo Credit: NASA

“Eight, seven, six … Go for Main Engine Start … ”

It was a familiar preamble from the […]

'Those Are Beautiful Shoes': Celebrating Independence Day in Space (Part 1)

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 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 speck appeared on the […]

Back to the Moon? New House Bill Defunds NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission

Artist's conception of the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The new House bill directs NASA to bypass this mission and return to the Moon instead, before going to Mars. Image Credit: NASA

Artist’s conception of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The new House bill directs NASA to bypass this mission and return to the Moon instead, before going to Mars. Image Credit: NASA

Sending human astronauts to Mars is a dream shared by many, but there are still challenges to overcome and the question of just […]