'To Train a Mission': 15 Years Since STS-105 (Part 1)

Fifteen years have now passed since STS-105 exchanged crews and supplies at the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years have now passed since STS-105 exchanged crews and supplies at the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this month, 10 astronauts and cosmonauts from the United States and Russia celebrated 1,000 days of orbital operations for the International Space Station (ISS). In August 2001, Shuttle Discovery’s STS-105 astronauts—Commander Scott […]

Doorway to the Future: 15 Years Since STS-104 (Part 1)

The Quest airlock, showing its wide equipment lock and its narrow crew lock, is maneuvered into position during STS-104. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Quest airlock, showing its wide equipment lock and its narrow crew lock, is maneuvered into position during STS-104. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

On 116 occasions in the past 15 years, white-suited spacewalkers from the United States, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom have departed a stubby, […]

Multi-National Crew to Launch to Space Station Aboard First Soyuz-MS Spacecraft

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Commanded by veteran cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin (center), the Soyuz MS-01 crew is rounded out by “rookie” spacefarers Kate Rubins (left) of NASA and Takuya Onishi (right) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Photo Credit: NASA

A retired Russian Air Force fighter pilot, a former Boeing 767 copilot, and a civilian microbiologist who describes […]

'A Horrible Moment': 30 Years Since the Shuttle’s Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on STS-29 in March 1989, carrying more than half of the original crew of Mission 61H. Photo Credit: NASA

Discovery rockets into orbit on STS-29 in March 1989, carrying more than half of the original crew of Mission 61H. Photo Credit: NASA

The beginning of the end of Mission 61H came on 28 January 1986, when Challenger and her crew were lost, just 73 seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'Unless They Throw Me Out': 30 Years Since the Shuttle's Mission for Britain and Indonesia (Part 1)

The "core" NASA crew of the former Mission 61H, pictured during one of their post-Challenger extended simulations. From left to right are Mike Coats, John Blaha, Anna Fisher, Bob Springer and (standing) Jim Buchli. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The “core” NASA crew of the former Mission 61H, pictured during one of their post-Challenger extended simulations. From left to right are Mike Coats, John Blaha, Anna Fisher, Bob Springer, and (standing) Jim Buchli. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, Britain’s first astronaut—civilian chemist Helen Sharman—roared into orbit aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, […]

'Man, I'm Here': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-78 (Part 1)

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Created as a “bridge” between the final Spacelab flights and the beginning of research aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) offered a nod to past and future. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, this week, International Space Station (ISS) research began in earnest, even though […]

One Man and His Catheter: 25 Years Since the Shuttle's First Life Sciences Mission (Part 2)

Having ridden to orbit wearing a heart catheter, Drew Gaffney (left) offers his arm to Jim Bagian and Millie Hughes-Fulford for one of many blood draws. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Having ridden to orbit wearing a heart catheter, Drew Gaffney (left) offers his arm to Jim Bagian and Millie Hughes-Fulford for one of many blood draws. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, one of the most complex scientific research missions ever undertaken rocketed into orbit aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. […]

'To Get Back Together': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's First Life Sciences Mission (Part 1)

Carrying the bus-sized Spacelab module in her payload bay, Columbia drifts above Earth in June 1991. Photo Credit: NASA

Carrying the bus-sized Spacelab module in her payload bay, Columbia drifts above Earth in June 1991. Twenty-five years ago, this week, STS-40 marked the shuttle program’s first mission fully devoted to the life sciences. Photo Credit: NASA

For Bryan O’Connor, commander of the space shuttle’s first dedicated life sciences mission, the key concern on […]

'An Amazing and Wonderful Experience': 20 Years Since STS-77’s Record-Setting Rendezvous Mission (Part 2)

The struts of the Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) deploy in the minutes after leaving the vicinity of Endeavour. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

STS-77’s primary cargoes dominate this view of Endeavour’s payload bay in orbit. In the foreground is the Spacehab-4 module, with SPARTAN-207 visible in the background. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago this week, six men orbited Earth aboard Shuttle Endeavour on one of the most complex research flights ever conducted in […]

'Wide-Eyed Dreamers': 20 Years Since STS-77's Record-Setting Rendezvous Mission (Part 1)

Endeavour rises into the dawn on 19 May 1996, kicking off the STS-77 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

The Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) extends from the SPARTAN-207 free-flying satellite, after deployment. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Early on 20 May 1996, NASA astronaut Mario Runco, Jr., grappled SPARTAN-207—a small, free-flying spacecraft, equipped with a very unique experiment—and lifted it from Shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay with the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) […]