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 […]

On Course to the Stars: James Webb Space Telescope Shaping Up for 2018 Launch

From ESA: “This image shows two polished test mirror segments being inspected by an optical engineer: one segment with the gold coating already applied, the other without. In the meantime, the coating of all 18 mirrors has been completed.” Photo Credit: NASA/C. Gunn

While the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) recently celebrated 25 years in […]

Frustrated Bolden Urges Congress to Fund Commercial Crew, Announces $490 Million Contract Modification With Russia

Under Wednesday’s contract extension with Roscosmos, the Soyuz TMA-M and Soyuz MS spacecraft will continue to deliver U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), potentially through 2019. Photo Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti/NASA/Twitter

It was difficult to miss the frustration in NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s words, as he submitted a letter to the leadership of the […]

Clarifying NASA's Budget Regarding Orion, SLS, and SpaceX / Boeing Commercial Crew

A ULA Delta-IV Heavy launching NASA's Orion spacecraft on its first orbital flight test, WFT-1, in Dec. 2014. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

 

The launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft on its first spaceflight, EFT-1, last December. The capsule is intended for deep-space crewed missions starting in the next decade atop the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

As next year’s NASA budget is being written by the House and Senate […]

New 'Forever Remembered' Exhibit Pays Tribute to Challenger and Columbia Crews STS-51L and STS-107

"Forever Remembered" at KSCVC pays tribute to the fourteen fallen astronaut heroes who sacrificed their lives during America's 30-year Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

 

“Forever Remembered” at KSCVC pays tribute to the 14 fallen astronaut heroes who sacrificed their lives during America’s 30-year space shuttle program. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave.” – President Ronald Reagan

There was not a dry eye in the house Saturday […]

'Somebody Get a Camera': 25 Years Since the Launch of Hubble (Part 2)

Twenty-five years after its April 1990 launch, the iconic Hubble Space Telescope remains functional. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, yesterday, on 24 April 1990, one of the most important missions in the annals of scientific discovery got underway, with the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history article, […]

'Monster Flight': 25 Years Since Launch of Hubble (Part 1)

The moment of deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), as seen from the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC). Photo Credit: NASA

“If there were ever two missions that were completely opposite in terms of the public attention that was given to them,” astronaut Loren Shriver once said, “it would be my first and […]

Scott Kelly Describes Return to Space Station as 'Coming to My Old Home'

Scott Kelly’s first selfie, taken after setting up camp in his crew quarters in the station’s Harmony node on 27/28 March 2015. Photo Credit: Scott Kelly/Twitter/NASA

With about 1 percent of his 342-day mission—which began Thursday, with a rousing launch aboard Soyuz TMA-16M, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan—now complete, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly spoke […]

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, […]