Record-Breaker for Women Astronauts: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 2)

For the first time on STS-79, a shuttle crew saw Mir in its complete configuration, with six research and habitation modules. It had been Shannon Lucid’s home for six months and would be John Blaha’s home for the next four. Photo Credit: NASA

A glass half-full, or half-empty, was Bill Readdy’s perspective on the […]

Changing the Guard: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 1)

The STS-79 mission patch, highlighting its original EVA component. Image Credit: NASA

World record holder Shannon Lucid watches the growth of plants in a Russian greenhouse aboard Mir. This photograph was taken in September 1996, shortly after the crew of STS-79, including Lucid’s replacement, John Blaha, arrived to bring her home. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this month, an American national record-breaker circled high above Earth, aboard […]

'To Make Sure We Didn't Make the News': 25 Years Since STS-48 (Part 2)

Originally scheduled to be the first shuttle mission to land at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in the hours of darkness, STS-48 was ultimately diverted to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Originally scheduled to be the first shuttle mission to land at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in the hours of darkness, STS-48 was ultimately diverted to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing—though not unexpected—fire […]

'Gentlemen's Hours': 25 Years Since STS-48 (Part 1)

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is readied for deployment by Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, early in the STS-48 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is readied for deployment by Discovery’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, early in the STS-48 mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing, though not unexpected, fire show. NASA’s 13,000-pound (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere […]

'Send Up a Tanker': 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 2)

To this day, Gemini XI retains the record for the highest altitude ever achieved by an Earth-orbital piloted mission. Only the Apollo lunar expeditions traveled further. Photo Credit: NASA

Tethering Gemini XI to Agena-XI was part of an experiment to evaluate the controllability of two vehicles in close proximity without control inputs. Photo Credit: NASA

Half a century ago, this coming week, on 12 September 1966, Gemini XI astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad and Dick Gordon launched from Earth within a two-second-long “window” and […]

'Would You Believe M=1?' 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 1)

Pete Conrad (foreground) and Dick Gordon, with dark EVA visor, are pictured aboard Gemini IX. Both men later journeyed to the Moon together on Apollo 12. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon’s Gemini XI mission would carry them to a peak 850 miles (1,370 km), which remains the highest altitude of any Earth-orbital mission. Only the Apollo lunar flights traveled higher on their expeditions to the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Not all astronauts get on with […]

Expedition 48 Crew Wraps Up Six-Month Space Station Mission

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States' most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States’ most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

After more than 172 days in space, U.S. national-record-breaking astronaut Jeff Williams and his Russian crewmates Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka have landed […]

Camping Without Marshmallows: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 2)

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Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean are barely visible, slightly right-of-center, working on the P-3/P-4 truss during EVA-2. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this month, the crew of Shuttle Atlantis—Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson, and Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, and Canada’s Steve MacLean—roared into orbit to restart the construction […]

In For the Long Haul: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 1)

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

At first glance, shuttle […]

Expedition 48 Spacewalkers Restore Space Station Power Channel to Pre-2012 Configuration

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The location of the Trailing Thermal Control Radiator (TTCR) on the outboard truss on the port-side of the space station. After its retraction, both of P-6’s 2B and 4B power channels will be routed through the main Photovoltaic Radiator (PVR). Image Credit: NASA

On a day which spelled calamity for SpaceX—as its Upgraded Falcon […]