'A Proud Legacy': Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 1)

Atlantis alights on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 5:57 a.m. EDT on 21 July 2011, wrapping up a remarkable 33-mission career. Photo Credit: NASA/Kenny Allen

In the pre-dawn darkness of 21 July 2011, the small black-and-white dot of Atlantis glided smoothly into […]

'A New Orbiter Joins the Shuttle Fleet': 30 Years Since Atlantis' Maiden Voyage (Part 2)

Not until the summer of 1998 were any images from this most “vanilla” of Department of Defense flights revealed … although the nature of the flight had long since trickled into the public domain. A pair of Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)-III satellites, mounted atop a Boeing-built Inertial Upper Stage, are here raised to […]

'For Tasks That Might or Might Not Take Place': 30 Years Since Atlantis' Maiden Voyage (Part 1)

During the course of her 33-mission career, which began 30 years ago on 3 October 1985, Atlantis flew more Department of Defense assignments than any other orbiter, beginning with her maiden voyage, 51J. In keeping with DoD missions, the patch was both highly symbolic and patriotic. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years […]

Russia's Second Six-Time Cosmonaut and 'Two Tims' Set for December Launch to Space Station


The crew of Soyuz TMA-19M consists of (from left) Tim Peake, Tim Kopra and Yuri Malenchenko. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

With less than 12 weeks to go before their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the three-man crew of Soyuz TMA-19M—consisting of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra and Britain’s […]

'About People Living in Space': 15 Years Since STS-106 (Part 2)

Impressive view of Atlantis and part of the International Space Station (ISS), captured during the STS-106 mission, 15 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Amid cloudy conditions, only days after the departure of Hurricane Debby and having sustained a pre-launch strike on the Lightning Protection System at Pad 39B, NASA’s 99th space shuttle […]

'Houston, Atlantis, We Have Capture': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 2)

By pure happenstance, Atlantis was about to enter a protracted period of modification when the Shuttle-Mir contracts were signed in 1992. As a result, she was the primary orbiter outfitted for the docking missions. Photo Credit: NASA

The coming days and weeks mark a pair of significant anniversaries in the history of co-operation between the […]

'Houston, Atlantis, We Have Capture': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 1)

Space Shuttle Atlantis, as viewed through one of Mir’s windows, during the extraordinary docking mission in June 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years after the remarkable flight of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP)—which saw U.S. astronauts Tom Stafford, Vance Brand, and Deke Slayton work together in orbit for a handful of days with Soviet […]

'The Sultans of Space': 30 Years Since the Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 1)

By the end of his seven days in space, Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had given up looking for his own country, or even his own continent, and came to realize that all humans belonged to just “One World.” It is a message which continues to resonate today. Photo Credit: NASA

Three decades ago, on 17 […]

'Roger, Houston': Mission Control Center (MCC) Celebrates 50 Years of Spaceflight Operations Support

Fifty years ago, today, on 3 June 1965, the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston, Texas, provided primary support for its first human spaceflight. In doing so, it placed Houston permanently on the intergalactic map. Image Credit: William Foster/NASA

Over the last 50 years, Houston—the seat of Harris County and the most populous city […]

As Progress M-27M Investigation Nears Conclusion, NASA Ready for Realigned 2015 Space Station Manifest

NASA image, detailing the removal (blue) of the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) from the Unity nadir interface and its installation (green) onto the forward port of the Tranquility node. The relocation maneuver is planned for Wednesday, 27 May. Image Credit: NASA

Continuing an ambitious year which will see the most significant reconfiguration of […]