A Flight of Changes: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 2)

Upon touchdown on 7 December 1996, Columbia and her STS-80 crew set an empirical record for the longest single mission of the Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Upon touchdown on 7 December 1996, Columbia and her STS-80 crew set an empirical record for the longest single mission of the Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

When the crew of STS-80—launched 20 years ago, this week—were assigned to their mission in January 1996, theirs was expected to be one […]

Three-Spacecraft Ballet: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 1)

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, today, on 19 November 1996, the longest space shuttle mission in history got underway with the spectacular liftoff of Columbia from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. During almost […]

Rolling Out on High Final: 35 Years Since the Short Mission of STS-2 (Part 2)

The Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm is put through its paces during STS-2. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm is put through its paces during STS-2. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-five years ago, today, Space Shuttle Columbia was sailing—though not entirely smoothly—through her second orbital mission, STS-2. Aboard the orbiter, astronauts Joe Engle and Dick Truly were tasked with spending five days in […]

Flying a Used Space Shuttle: 35 Years Since the Short Mission of STS-2 (Part 1)

Columbia rolls out to Pad 39A in August 1981, ahead of the STS-2 mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Columbia rolls out to Pad 39A in August 1981, ahead of the STS-2 mission. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For almost three decades, from November 1981 through July 2011, Canada’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS), also known as the “Canadarm,” supplied much of the muscle needed by the space shuttle fleet to complete its […]

'In A Real Flight Environment': 40 Years Since Enterprise Took the Shuttle From Ground to Air (Part 1)

NASA Administrator James Fletcher (left) and the cast of "Star Trek" were on hand for Enterprise's rollout on 17 September 1976. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) is pictured here with Shuttle Enterprise during the first of the shuttle program’s Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in summer 1977. Photo Credit: NASA

When we think of the space shuttle, we think of the five spaceworthy orbiter vehicles—Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, […]

In For the Long Haul: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 1)

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

At first glance, shuttle […]

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to Honor 35th Anniversary of First Shuttle Missions

Thirty-five years ago, in April and November 1981, NASA launched the first reusable piloted orbital spacecraft on its first two missions. In September 2016, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) will remember STS-1 and STS-2 with a panel discussion involving three of the four astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, in April and November 1981, NASA launched the first reusable piloted orbital spacecraft on its first two missions. In September 2016, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) will remember STS-1 and STS-2 with a panel discussion involving three of the four astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, this summer, NASA worked […]

'Those Are Beautiful Shoes': Celebrating Independence Day in Space (Part 1)

On 4 July 1982, the crew of STS-4 became the first U.S. astronauts to spend Independence Day in space. It also marked the date of their spectacular return to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA

On 4 July 1982, the crew of STS-4 became the first U.S. astronauts to spend Independence Day in space. It also marked the date of their spectacular return to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA

On the morning of 4 July 1982, a rapidly moving, black and white speck appeared on the […]

'A Horrible Moment': 30 Years Since the Shuttle’s Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on STS-29 in March 1989, carrying more than half of the original crew of Mission 61H. Photo Credit: NASA

Discovery rockets into orbit on STS-29 in March 1989, carrying more than half of the original crew of Mission 61H. Photo Credit: NASA

The beginning of the end of Mission 61H came on 28 January 1986, when Challenger and her crew were lost, just 73 seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'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, […]