Dawn of an Era: Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Launch

 

Thirty-four years ago, today, at dawn, Columbia roared into orbit, heralding the dawn of a new era in U.S. space exploration. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-four years ago, today, on 12 April 1981, the first winged orbital space vehicle carrying human pilots was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'Main B Bus Undervolt': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 2)

Apollo 13’s Latin motto of “Ex Luna, Scientia” (“From the Moon, Knowledge”) highlighted this mission as a voyage of exploration and scientific endeavor. Image Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, yesterday, on Saturday, 11 April 1970, the third piloted mission to deposit human explorers onto the surface of the Moon got underway, with a spectacular […]

SpaceX Approaches 50-Percent Complete on NASA Contract as CRS-6 Dragon Prepares for Monday Launch

Landing legs at the base of the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS-6 booster, which is scheduled to launch to the ISS for NASA (and attempt to land on an offshore barge) on April 13. Photo Credit: SpaceX

More than six years after signing the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) agreement with NASA to deliver 12 […]

'Bored to Tears': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 1)

Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell and Fred Haise discuss their April 1970 ordeal during last month’s 45th anniversary commemorative event at San Diego Air & Space Museum. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher / AmericaSpace

By the spring of 1970, six months had passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin triumphantly fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s […]

Heavyweight Payload for Science to Accompany SpaceX's Next ISS-Bound Dragon

The CRS-6 mission is the sixth dedicated Dragon cargo flight under the language of SpaceX’s $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Credit: NASA

SpaceX is gearing up for the next round of its most ambitious year of launches and tests to date, with next week’s scheduled flight of the sixth dedicated […]

'Vide Mater, Sine Manibus': 30 Years Since Shuttle Mission 51D (Part 2)

Spacewalkers Jeff Hoffman and Dave Griggs work to outfit a makeshift fly swatter onto the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, in a fruitless attempt to activate Syncom 4-3’s deploy switch. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, next week, the crew of Mission 51D watched open-mouthed as a powerful communications satellite which they had […]

'It's Gonna Be Great': 30 Years Since Shuttle Mission 51D (Part 1)

Spacewalkers Jeff Hoffman and Dave Griggs work to outfit a makeshift fly swatter onto the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, in a fruitless attempt to activate Syncom 4-3’s deploy switch. Photo Credit: NASA

None of the 135 missions flown by NASA’s five-strong fleet of shuttle orbiters between April 1981 and July 2011 could […]

Stretching the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the EDO Decision

Columbia is approached by servicing vehicles on the runway on 7 December 1996, after concluding STS-80, the shuttle program’s longest Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, NASA and Rockwell International reached a historic agreement which would, both figuratively and literally, “extend” the shuttle and its myriad capabilities […]

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 […]

Veteran Shuttle Pilot and Adventurer Bill Oefelein Turns 50 Today

Bill Oefelein was one of the first members of his astronaut class to venture into space and the first Alaskan to reach orbit. He turns 50 today. Photo Credit: NASA

Although he forged an unfortunate place in popular culture and gained intense media attention in early 2007 as part of a bizarre “love triangle,” […]