AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
31 Jan 15 14:20:42 GMT
31 Jan 15 6:20:42 PST
31 Jan 15 9:20:42 Eastern

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Star Voyagers: Remembering the Challenger Seven

Emblazoned with the names of its seven “star voyagers”, the crew patch for Mission 51L illustrated its myriad objectives. Halley’s Comet is prominently displayed, as is an apple next to the name of school teacher Christa McAuliffe. Image Credit: NASA

Yesterday’s passage of 28 years since the loss of Challenger on 28 January 1986 […]

Missed Warnings: The Fatal Flaws Which Doomed Challenger (Part 2)

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. Photo Credit: NASA

In late April 1985, three months after the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) of Mission 51C had first drawn the attention of Morton Thiokol structural engineer Roger Boisjoly, another shuttle crew took flight. Mission 51B carried […]

Missed Warnings: The Fatal Flaws Which Doomed Challenger (Part 1)

Of all the fragments of Challenger which were recovered, this shard of the craft, bearing part of her name, was particularly poignant. Photo Credit: NASA

On 7 March 1986, six weeks after the loss of Challenger, divers from the U.S.S. Preserver found the remains of the ill-fated shuttle’s crew cabin. It “was disintegrated, with […]

' ... T-9 Minutes and Counting ... ': NASA's First Secret Shuttle Flight

Since the conception of the manned spaceflight engineer programme, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and Ellison […]

Opinion: Beyonce and the Use of Challenger Accident Audio Sample Indicative of Failings of Contemporary Pop Culture

Popular singer/song-writer Beyoncé has received much criticism recently from the space community for her ill-advised use of an audio sample from the Challenger accident in one of her songs. Image Credit: New York Daily News

The history of art as a form of human expression is full of provocative moments, with many […]

'To Launch Americans Into Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 2)

 

After 32 months of agony and introspection, the Kennedy Space Center was again rocked by the roar of shuttle main engines and Solid Rocket Boosters on the morning of 29 September 1988. It was the dawn of a new era. Photo Credit: NASA

Setting aside the enormity of the fact that STS-26 would […]

'Americans Return to Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 1)

Twenty-five years have now passed since STS-26, the mission which laid the ghosts of Challenger to rest and opened the gates for a second Golden Age of shuttle operations. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years have now passed since the voice of launch commentator Hugh Harris exulted “Americans return to space” on the morning of […]

Retro Space Images: Happy Fourth of July!

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Challenger at Ellington — The crew of STS-4 and Space Shuttle Challenger are welcomed at Ellington Air Force Base on July 4, 1982. Challenger was en route to being delivered to Kennedy Space Center for the first time.

Like what you see? Then check out: Retro Space Images

Want to […]

Retro Space Images: Ride, Sally Ride

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Flight Suit Attitude — Thirty years ago today, astronaut Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space. Ride was launched aboard Space Shuttle Challenger with astronauts Bob Crippen, Rick Hauck, John Fabian, and Norm Thagard.

 

Like what you see? Then check out: Retro Space Images

Want to keep up-to-date […]

Ride, Sally Ride: Thirty Years Since America's First Woman in Space (Part 2)

 

Sally Ride at work on Challenger’s flight deck during STS-7. Her mission opened the door for U.S. women to venture into orbit. Thirty years since her pioneering flight, her legacy is represented aboard the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg. Photo Credit: NASA

Next week marks the 30th anniversary of the […]