'If It Goes Poorly, You Take the Blame': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 1)

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through shuttle Atlantis' aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through Shuttle Atlantis’ aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For a few hours in early April 1991, it seemed that things could not get any worse for NASA. A year earlier, the first […]

Jeff Williams and 'Sardines' Top the U.S. Spaceflight Experience Table

Jeff Williams became the first Sardine to perform an EVA on shuttle mission STS-101 in May 2000. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Jeff Williams (left), pictured in January 2016, stands to become America’s most experienced spacefarer later this year. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Newly-arrived Expedition 47 astronaut Jeff Williams—who boarded the International Space Station (ISS) almost two weeks ago, thereby kicking off his third discrete increment aboard the orbiting outpost—assisted with the establishment of a new […]

'No Reason For the People Inside to Starve': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 2)

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim […]

A Cygnus Came A'Calling: Orbital ATK's OA-6 Cargo Ship Arrives at Space Station

The 57.7-foot-long (17.6-meter) Canadarm2 robotic arm inches toward the OA-6 Cygnus cargo ship on Saturday, 26 March. Photo Credit: NASA/Tim Peake/Twitter

The 57.7-foot-long (17.6-meter) Canadarm2 robotic arm inches toward the OA-6 Cygnus cargo ship on Saturday, 26 March. Photo Credit: NASA/Tim Peake/Twitter

A little more than two days after its rousing Tuesday night liftoff from the storied Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Orbital ATK has successfully delivered another Cygnus […]

'Those Things Don't Happen By Accident': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 1)

STS-76 marked the fourth shuttle to rendezvous with Mir, and the third to dock. It also marked the first shuttle flight to land with fewer crew members than it launched with. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

STS-76 was the fourth shuttle mission to rendezvous, and the third to dock, with Russia’s Mir space station. It also marked the first shuttle mission to deliver a long-duration crew member and return to Earth with a smaller crew than that with which it launched. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, […]

Spectacular Atlas V Launch Carries Rick Husband Back to Space

The spectacular OA-6 launch provided an additional light source for onlookers at the Cape. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

The spectacular OA-6 launch provided an additional light source for onlookers at the Cape. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

More than a decade after his mortal life was lost, along with his crew, during the final, tragic re-entry of Shuttle Columbia, veteran astronaut Rick Husband was posthumously granted a second opportunity to visit the International […]

ULA Stands Ready to Deliver Second Orbital ATK Cygnus to Space Station on Tuesday Night

Topped by the OA-6 Cygnus spacecraft, within its Extra-Extended Payload Fairing (XEPF), the Atlas V 401 rolls the short distance from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) to the pad surface of Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41 on Monday, 21 March. Photo Credit: ULA

Orbital ATK’s OA-6 Cygnus spacecraft is readied for its 22 March launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

Barely a month since the last of its kind—the OA-4 mission—returned to a fiery demise in Earth’s atmosphere, Orbital ATK will deliver another Cygnus cargo ship towards the International Space […]

Columbia's Final Commander Honored in Upcoming Cygnus Resupply Mission to ISS

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship "S.S. Rick Husband", packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

Stunning perspective of the departure of the OA-4 Cygnus on 19 February. Less than six weeks later, the OA-6 Cygnus will transport a range of research payloads to the International Space Station (ISS) and will bear the name of an astronaut who actually helped build the orbital outpost. Photo Credit: NASA/Tim Peake/Twitter

In keeping […]

'We Had 'Em By the Short Hairs': How the United States Lost the Race for a Man in Space (Part 2)

The Mercury-Redstone Booster Development (MR-BD) mission launches on 24 March 1961. This mission cleared the final concerns, ahead of entrusting the rocket with a human pilot. Photo Credit: NASA

In early 1961, the Mercury Seven were ready to begin the United States’ first missions into space. However, the need to conduct a final unpiloted Mercury-Redstone mission caused America to lose the race to beat the Soviet Union into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, next week, on 24 March 1961, the final […]

Timid Doctors and Timid Germans: How the United States Lost the Race for a Man in Space (Part 1)

One of the earliest rockets to be launched from Cape Canaveral was the Army’s Redstone missile, which later evolved into the vehicle seen here delivering America’s first man into space. Photo Credit: NASA

More than five decades have now passed since one of the most unfortunate episodes in human spaceflight history. In late March […]