'The Lord Protected Grandpa': 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 2)

During the majority of the seven-day mission, Challenger operated in a gravity gradient orientation, with her vertical stabilizer directed Earthward and her starboard wing pointing in the direction of travel. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, a seven-man crew with a combined age of 340 years rocketed into orbit […]

A Long Wait for Space: 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 1)

Challenger roars into orbit on 29 April 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, Challenger was circling the Earth on the first dedicated Spacelab science flight of the shuttle era. For seven days, the crew of Mission 51B—Commander Bob Overmyer, Pilot Fred Gregory, Mission Specialists Don Lind, Norm Thagard, and […]

'I Went Flying, All Right!' Remembering Challenger Pilot Mike Smith on His 70th Birthday

Mike Smith, the pilot of Challenger’s final mission. Photo Credit: NASA

When we think of “astronauts,” we think of the hundreds of heroes who have voyaged beyond the sensible atmosphere, into low-Earth orbit, and beyond, into cislunar space, lunar orbit, and even the dusty surface of the Moon itself. However, it is a sad […]

The Flight That Wasn't: 30 Years Since the Unflown Mission 51E (Part 2)

In its third incarnation, the mission of Karol “Bo” Bobko finally takes flight on 12 April 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Three decades ago, the shuttle program appeared bulletproof. In 1984, astronauts embarked on untethered EVAs, deployed satellites and performed scientific research, retrieved and repaired the crippled Solar Max observatory, and salvaged […]

'Up Against a Wall': What 1986 Might Have Been

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years and all crews, including the other missions planned for 1986, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

On three occasions in NASA’s history, the dawn of February has brought […]

NASA Observes Annual Remembrance Day, Pays Tribute to Lost US Crews

An honor guard pays tribute to lost U.S. astronauts, flanked by NASA’s Suzy Cunningham, at the Space Mirror Memorial on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 28. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

This week in spaceflight history is a somber and difficult one, as the anniversaries of three major U.S. spaceflight tragedies occur within days of […]

'Major Malfunction': The Final Launch of Challenger, 28 Years Ago Today

Challenger’s final crew, as they should be remembered: positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity’s reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) are Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) are Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and […]

'Shuttleman' Scott G. Phillips Keeps Shuttle Spirit Alive With Tribute Models, New Book

Scott G. Phillips stands by his space shuttle tribute display. Phillips’ new memoir, Remove Before Flight, tells the story of his own personal shuttle odyssey. Photo Credit: Scott G. Phillips

Since the beginning of the space shuttle era, which kicked off with STS-1’s triumphant launch in 1981, space buffs, historians, and writers chronicling the […]

US Space Walk of Fame Museum Dedicates New Space Shuttle Monument

A view of Space View Park’s shuttle monument, which was dedicated this past weekend. This monument pays tribute to the thousands of workers and engineers who made the shuttle program a success, despite adversity. Photo Credit: Space View Park website (http://www.nbbd.com/godo/spaceviewpark/)

This past Saturday morning, on Nov. 1, various space luminaries, shuttle astronauts, members […]

Space for Everyone: 30 Years Since STS-41G, Progress in Spaceflight Diversity

The crew of STS-41G, 1984: Seated (from left) are Jon McBride, Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, and Dave Leestma, with (from left) Paul Scully-Power, Bob Crippen, and Marc Garneau standing. This mission proved to be a watershed moment in spaceflight diversity in a year of firsts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago yesterday (Oct. 5, […]