The Real Mission Impossible: 30 Years Since Mission 61C (Part 2)

Columbia swoops like a bird of prey into Edwards Air Force Base on 18 January 1986, just ten days ahead of the Challenger tragedy. Commander Robert "Hoot" Gibson would later refer to this mission as "The End of Innocence" ... for after Challenger the Shuttle program would never be the same again. Photo Credit: NASA

Robert “Hoot” Gibson (right) and George “Pinky” Nelson lead the 61C crew out of the Operations & Checkout Building for launch. Following is crewmate Steve Hawley. Photo Credit: NASA

On Mission 61C, launched 30 years ago next week, on 12 January 1986, Space Shuttle Columbia was making her first orbital flight in over two […]

The Real Mission Impossible: 30 Years Since Mission 61C (Part 1)

"Mission Impossible" finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

“Mission Impossible” finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

Though three decades have passed, January 1986 has become entrenched in humanity’s popular consciousness as one of the darkest months in space history, for on its 28th day the crew of Challenger were lost in […]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 2)

“Mission Impossible” finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

On Mission 61C, launched on this day (12 January) in 1986, Space Shuttle Columbia was making her first orbital flight in over two years. Late in January 1984, a month after returning from her STS-9 […]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 1)

Columbia swoops like a bird of prey into Edwards Air Force Base on 18 January 1986, just 10 days ahead of the Challenger tragedy. Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson would later refer to this mission as “The End of Innocence” … for after Challenger the shuttle program would never be the same again. Photo Credit: […]

Orion Fairing Test Encounters Problem

The Orion service module fairing panels fall into the Fairing Catch Systems after being jettisoned via Separation Strut/Ordnance actuations. Photo Credit: NASA

At first blush, the fairing of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) might not seem to be a vital piece of equipment; however, it is crucial. NASA is currently testing the fairing […]

Orion Spacecraft Cool Under Pressure

NASA has addressed issues that Orion has encountered during testing and has also conducted new tests that move Orion closer to launch next year. Photo CredIt: Jim Grossman / NASA

The Orion spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has undergone extensive testing to prepare it for its first flight, currently scheduled to […]

UPDATE: Boeing Not a KSC Tenant - Yet

NASA held a large event to proclaim that Boeing had entered into an agreement with Space Florida and NASA to use one of the Orbiter Processing Facilities to process the company’s CST-100 spacecraft. Over a year and a half later, the lease agreement still has not been signed, and it is unclear if it […]

What Might NASA's Mission to Snag Asteroid Look Like?

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/hstKzxqn29c[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of NASA

The recent announcement that $100 million had been earmarked in the White House’s FY 2014 Budget Proposal Request to send an unmanned probe to an asteroid and have it transported back to lunar orbit to be studied by astronauts has generated a lot of buzz. What would such […]

On @ The 90: How Mission to Capture Asteroid Could Change NASA

Could a new initiative proposed in the FY 2014 Budget Proposal make space exploration a highly profitable endeavor? Image Credit: NASA

In April 2010, President Obama announced a plan that, at the time, received a rather tepid response. This was the president’s announcement that NASA would conduct a mission to an asteroid. The plan, […]

NewSpace Firm XCOR Eyes Florida's Space Coast

Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla) gestures to those in attendance regarding the prospects of having XCOR open a base of operations on Florida’s SPace Coast. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studios

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – The private space firm XCOR announced possible plans to establish a base of operations along Florida’s Space […]