'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 […]

'To Come to California': 35 Years Since STS-1 Inaugurated the Space Shuttle Program (Part 2)

After its Thermal Protection System (TPS) successfully bore the brunt of the fiery return to Earth, Columbia performed an unpowered, “deadstick” landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 14 April 1981. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-five years have now passed since the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Program. On the […]

'To Come to California': Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Voyage

Columbia approaches touchdown at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., 34 years ago today. Photo Credit: NASA

More than three decades have passed since the maiden voyage of the space shuttle. On 12 April 1981, orbiter Columbia rocketed away from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), kicking off a new era which would […]

Sierra Nevada Outlines Challenges and Opportunities for Landing Dream Chaser at Public Airports

Artist’s concept of Dream Chaser Landing at Ellington Airfield, Houston, Texas. The Dream Chaser vehicle canland at any suitable runway that is at least 8,000 feet long. Image Credit: SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) may not have been awarded a multi-billion dollar commercial crew contract by NASA, but that isn’t stopping the company from […]

NASA Dryden Now Known as NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

This painting by artist Robert McCall sums up Neil A. Armstrong’s achievements in aviation and spaceflight history. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center was renamed after Armstrong, who died in 2012, on Saturday, March 1. Image Credit: NASA (painting by Robert McCall)

New year, new name: NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air […]

Dream Chaser Successfully Completes Flight Profile Review, Passes CCiCap Milestone 4A

Artist’s rendering of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser sharing the runway with Space Shuttle Atlantis—the final shuttle to fly. Image Credit: SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is quietly, but steadily, moving forward swiftly with the development of their reusable Dream Chaser spacecraft, and today SNC announced the successful completion a “flight-profile data review” milestone for Dream […]

NASA F/A-18 Hornets Conduct Vital Testing for SLS Flight Control System

An F/A-18 research jet simulated various flight conditions NASA’s Space Launch System may experience as it makes its way from the launch pad to space.Image Credit: NASA/Dryden

For some time now work has been under way to develop NASA’s replacement launch vehicle for the agency’s retired space shuttle fleet, the Space Launch System (SLS […]

Dream Chaser Suffers Landing Gear Failure After First Free Flight Test

Sierra Nevada Corporation carried out the first free flight ALT test with their Dream Chaser test article this past Saturday, carrying the vehicle aloft under an air-crane helicopter before being released. Although the flight itself appears to have gone as planned a problem was encountered with the left landing gear at touchdown, causing damage […]

Dream Chaser Back On Track for Free Flight Tests by End of the Year

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser space plane. Photo Credit: SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the company developing the Dream Chaser spaceflight vehicle, is back on track to conduct a series of Approach and Landing tests (ALT) after the government shutdown halted work at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California earlier this month. With […]

30 Years Ago: First Shuttle Night Launch, First African-American Astronaut, Oldest Man in Space (Part 2)

Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago this week, the first African-American astronaut, Guy Bluford, rode into orbit aboard Challenger on the space shuttle’s first-ever night launch as a member of the STS-8 crew. He was joined by crewmates Dick Truly, Dan Brandenstein, Dale Gardner, and the then-oldest man in space, 54-year-old Bill Thornton. After […]