NASA Orders Second SpaceX Crew Mission, As Space Station Prepares for IDA-2 Installation

The SpaceX Crew Dragon. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

The SpaceX Crew Dragon. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

With a little more than a year to go before U.S. astronauts launch aboard a U.S.-built spacecraft, and from U.S. soil, for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle era, NASA has ordered its second Post-Certification Mission (PCM) from SpaceX. The […]

'The Reality of the Situation': 45 Years Since the Mission of Apollo 15 (Part 1)

For each Apollo landing crew, the cramped confines of the Lunar Module (LM) provided their sanctuary against the hostile extremes of an airless, lifeless world beyond. Photo Credit: NASA

For each Apollo landing crew, the cramped confines of the Lunar Module (LM) provided their sanctuary against the hostile extremes of an airless, lifeless world beyond. Photo Credit: NASA

Four hundred miles (640 km) to the north of the Moon’s equator lies a place called Hadley: a small patch of Mare Imbrium at the […]

'The First Thing I Had Ever Lost': 55 Years Since Gus Grissom's Flight in the Liberty Bell (Part 2)

This was one of the final views of Liberty Bell 7 on 21 July 1961, before it was lost beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Not until 1999, more than three decades after Grissom's death, would the sunken capsule be returned to the surface. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

This was one of the final views of Liberty Bell 7 on 21 July 1961, before it was lost beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Not until 1999, more than three decades after Grissom’s death, would the sunken capsule be returned to the surface. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Fifty-five years ago, […]

'Isn't That Good Enough?' 55 Years Since Gus Grissom's Flight in the Liberty Bell (Part 1)

The white crack on the side of his capsule, paralleling that on the real Liberty Bell, is visible to the left of this pre-launch image of Virgil "Gus" Grissom. Photo Credit: NASA

The white crack on the side of his capsule, paralleling that on the real Liberty Bell, is visible to the left of this pre-launch image of Virgil “Gus” Grissom. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Had Virgil “Gus” Grissom lived longer, wrote Deke Slayton in his autobiography, Deke, he would have been the first […]

SpaceX Nails Launch and Landing Again, Dragon CRS-9 Now En Route to Space Station

The Upgraded Falcon 9 launches into the night, and returns from the night, with its first-stage hardware alighting perfectly onto Landing Zone (LZ)-1 at the Cape. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

The Upgraded Falcon 9 launches into the night, and returns from the night, with its first-stage hardware alighting perfectly onto Landing Zone (LZ)-1 at the Cape. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

For the 10th time in a little over four years, SpaceX delivered a Dragon cargo ship on a journey toward the International […]

'Otherwise Engaged': 50 Years Since the Double-Rendezvous, Double-Spacewalk Mission of Gemini X (Part 1)

Six hours after launching from Cape Kennedy on 18 July 1966, Gemini X Command Pilot John Young and Pilot Mike Collins rendezvoused and docked with Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle (GATV)-5005. It was the first of a record-setting two rendezvous to be performed during their three-day mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Six hours after launching from Cape Kennedy on 18 July 1966, Gemini X Command Pilot John Young and Pilot Mike Collins rendezvoused and docked with Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle (GATV)-5005. It was the first of a record-setting two rendezvous to be performed during their three-day mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Fifty years ago, […]

Critical Science, Commercial Crew Hardware Headed to Space Station Aboard CRS-9 Dragon

dragon-crs8

The International Docking Adapter (IDA)-2 will be one of two connection points for Commercial Crew spacecraft visiting the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA/Charles Babir

Forty-five minutes after midnight EDT on Monday, 18 July, SpaceX aims to deliver its 10th Dragon cargo ship toward the International Space Station (ISS). Conducted under the language […]

Doorway to the Future: 15 Years Since STS-104 (Part 1)

The Quest airlock, showing its wide equipment lock and its narrow crew lock, is maneuvered into position during STS-104. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Quest airlock, showing its wide equipment lock and its narrow crew lock, is maneuvered into position during STS-104. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

On 116 occasions in the past 15 years, white-suited spacewalkers from the United States, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom have departed a stubby, […]

'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 […]

'Unless They Throw Me Out': 30 Years Since the Shuttle's Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 1)

The "core" NASA crew of the former Mission 61H, pictured during one of their post-Challenger extended simulations. From left to right are Mike Coats, John Blaha, Anna Fisher, Bob Springer and (standing) Jim Buchli. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The “core” NASA crew of the former Mission 61H, pictured during one of their post-Challenger extended simulations. From left to right are Mike Coats, John Blaha, Anna Fisher, Bob Springer, and (standing) Jim Buchli. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, Britain’s first astronaut—civilian chemist Helen Sharman—roared into orbit aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, […]