The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 2)

Since the conception of the Manned Spaceflight Engineer (MSE) program, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 1)

Mission 51C roars into orbit on 24 January 1985, kicking off the shuttle program’s first dedicated Department of Defense assignment. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term which is often applied to many aspects of the space program: to Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight to the accomplishment of the first manned lunar landing or to […]

Shuttle on the Night Shift: 25 Years Since STS-33

STS-33 was the first nocturnal shuttle launch and landing of the post-Challenger era; entirely appropriate, perhaps, in light of the shroud of darkness which covered its primary payload. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, in November 1989, the shuttle embarked on its first launch and landing in the hours of darkness since […]

SpaceX Filing Suit Against US Air Force's Recent $3 Billion No-Bid Bulk Buy of 36 ULA Rockets

A SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket (left) and a ULA Atlas-V (right). SpaceX is filing a lawsuit against the Federal Government for the right to compete for Department of Defense and other government launch contracts, which ULA currently has a monopoly over. Photo Credits: AmericaSpace / Alan Walters / Mike Killian

It is no secret in […]

SpaceX and United Launch Alliance Face-Off at Hearing for Military Launch Contracts

United Launch Alliance CEO Michael Gass (top left) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (bottom right) testified at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Wed., March 5, each outlining why their respective launch services are the best choice for the U.S. Government and tax-payer. Photo Credits: Committee on Appropriations / […]

' ... T-9 Minutes and Counting ... ': NASA's First Secret Shuttle Flight

Since the conception of the manned spaceflight engineer programme, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and Ellison […]

Happy Birthday, DSN: NASA's Iconic Deep Space Communication Network Turns 50

The 70-meter antenna at Goldstone, Calif., one of the Deep Space Network facilities. The DSN celebrates, this month, its 50th anniversary of history-making operations. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The history of spaceflight is full of missions that have celebrated important milestones in space during Christmas Eve—from Apollo 8’s manned flight into lunar orbit in 1968 […]

Boeing Communications Relay Satellites Complete Space, Earthly Testing

Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / AmericaSpace

Two Boeing Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) have completed testing milestones – one in space and the other on Earth – marking more progress in enhancing the tracking and communications network used by NASA and its customers.

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NASA Exercises First ELVIS-2 Contract Option

Setting for the most historic events in human history, the Kennedy Space Center is the primary base for the ELVIS-2 contract. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA has exercised the first option on a contract which provides integrated services to prepare and launch the next generation of scientific and exploration missions. The two-year Option Period 1 […]

Flashbacks to Apollo: Navy's USS Arlington Recovers Orion Crew Module During Test

Photo Credit: NASA / Dave Bowman

Sailors (and guests, courtesy of a NASA Social) got to experience a touch of Apollo’s golden days on Thursday, Aug. 15, as a strangely familiar sight bobbed in the water near Norfolk Naval Station’s Pier 12. On this day, NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which is a 16-foot, […]