'The Most Beautiful Thing': 30 Years Since Challenger's Last Successful Mission (Part 2)

In one of the final views of Challenger in space, the orbiter sails over the cloud-bedecked Earth, with the Spacelab D-1 module clearly visible in her payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, next week, Space Shuttle Challenger flew in space for the final time. Mission 61A—the ninth and last […]

'Dallas? You Mean the City?' 30 Years Since Challenger's Last Successful Mission (Part 1)

Thirty years ago, next week, Shuttle Challenger launched on her final successful mission. Photo Credit: NASA

It is a dismaying fact of history that the name “Challenger”—when spoken in relation to the second spaceworthy vehicle of NASA’s shuttle fleet—is so often associated only with the dreadful catastrophe which snuffed out seven lives on the […]

Astronauts Practice Orion Crew Recovery as Aerojet Completes Major Subsystems Review for EM-1 Spacecraft

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

After spending a long period of time traveling in the vacuum of space, […]

'This True American Icon': Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 5)

The final launch, Atlantis STS-135. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The final launch, Atlantis STS-135. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

A string of “Go” calls—interspersed with an occasional poignant remark about the contributions of the Space Shuttle program over three decades of operational service—reached the ears of Launch Director Mike Leinbach, seated at his console in the Launch Control Center (LCC) at the […]

Cosmic Ballet: Remembering Atlantis on 30th Anniversary of Maiden Flight (Part 4)

 

Between June 1995 and October 1997, Atlantis completed no fewer than seven dockings with Russia’s Mir space station, more than twice as many as any of her sister orbiters combined. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, in October 1985, Atlantis became the fourth member of NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet to launch […]

'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 […]