'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 […]

Ready for Space Station Building: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 5)

Story Musgrave works at the end of Endeavour’s mechanical arm during activities to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in December 1993. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost a quarter-century ago, in April 1991, the effort to build today’s International Space Station (ISS) got underway with a pair of spacewalks—one unplanned—outside the shuttle Atlantis. During STS-37, […]

'Working a Monkey Board': The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 1)

Five decades have now passed since humanity’s first foray beyond the confines of their pressurized spacecraft and into the airless void beyond. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, today, on 18 March 1965, a 30-year-old Soviet cosmonaut named Alexei Leonov became the first human in history to depart the confines of his spacecraft in […]

Date With an Alligator: The Trials of Gemini IX-A (Part 2)

Gene Cernan’s EVA was the longest to date, by far the most complex … and intrinsically hazardous. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost five decades ago, one of the hairiest and most difficult missions in America’s space history unfolded. Gemini IX-A was already complex—a three-day flight, involving rendezvous, docking, maneuvering, and spacewalking—but had endured additional challenges: […]

Mastracchio Becomes World No. 5 Spacewalker After Successful EVA-26

In completing EVA-26, Rick Mastracchio has established himself as the World No. 5 on the list of most experienced spacewalkers. Photo Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 39 astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson have successfully removed and replaced a failed Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) on the central S-0 truss of the International Space Station (ISS). In one […]

Expedition 39 Spacewalkers Ready for Critical EVA-26 Tomorrow

 

During preparations for EVA-26 on 17 April, Steve Swanson works inside the Quest airlock. Photo Credit: NASA

Expedition 39 spacewalkers Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson will venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) early Wednesday, 23 April, to remove and replace a failed backup Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) on the Mobile Base System (MBS). Designated […]

Fixing Solar Max: 30 Years Since Mission 41C (Part 2)

Backdropped by the glorious Earth, Challenger drifts serenely with Solar Max secured in her payload bay. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago today (6 April 1984), the shuttle launched on arguably its most ambitious mission to date: a mission which would demonstrate the reusable orbiter’s capabilities of rendezvous, retrieval, satellite repair, and spacewalking with […]

Fixing Solar Max: 30 Years Since Mission 41C (Part 1)

Thirty years ago this week, Mission 41C put the shuttle’s capabilities to the test. In a single flight, the reusable vehicle demonstrated its capacity to support satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, untethered spacewalking and robotics … and served as a highlight of the ingenuity of the human spirit. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de

[…]

Wakata Assumes First Japanese ISS Command, as Kotov's Crew Prepares for Monday Night Homecoming

Outgoing Expedition 38 crewmen (bottom row, left to right) Mike Hopkins, Oleg Kotov, and Sergei Ryazansky are pictured with their new Expedition 39 comrades (top row, left to right) Koichi Wakata, Mikhail Tyurin, and Rick Mastracchio. The two crews have worked together as members of Expedition 38 since November 2013. Now, Wakata will lead […]