'Without Travel Orders': 20 Years Since the Marathon Flight of STS-73 (Part 2)

Clad in their respective “red” and “blue” shirts, to denote their membership of the 12-hour Red and Blue Teams, the STS-73 crew pose for an in-flight portrait in the Spacelab module. Front row (from left) are Kathy Thornton, Mike Lopez-Alegria, and Ken Bowersox, with Catherine “Cady” Coleman and Fred Leslie in the middle row, […]

'Not For Geeks': 20 Years Since the Marathon Mission of STS-73 (Part 1)

With her port-side payload bay door positioned at 62-degrees-open, in order to guard against Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) impacts in a gravity gradient attitude, Columbia sails through her long-delayed 18th mission in October-November 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

The “geek” has long been recognized as an eccentric, non-mainstream individual, usually imbued with a peculiar or […]

'Return to Flight, Not Rush to Flight': 10 Years Since Discovery Came Safely Home to Earth (Part 1)

Discovery sits on the runway at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 9 August 2005, after completing STS-114, the first post-Columbia shuttle mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years have now passed since the first space shuttle streaked safely back to Earth on 9 August 2005, in the aftermath of the Columbia disaster. The crew of […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 3—’Repackage Our Margin’

Astronaut Story Musgrave is positioned to replace components at the end of Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm on STS-61 in December 1993. Photo Credit: NASA

More than two decades have passed since one of the most spectacular EVA missions in U.S. history: the long-awaited first servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). […]

'The Most Complex So Far': What 2003 Might Have Been

Columbia roars into orbit for the 28th and final time on 16 January 2003. Eighty-two seconds into the ascent, a chunk of foam from her External Tank would spell disaster for the outcome of STS-107. Photo Credit: NASA

Twelve years ago, last weekend, Shuttle Columbia and the crew of STS-107—Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie […]

'Fifteen Midnights': Celebrating the New Year in Space (Part 1)

Bill Shepherd (center) and his Expedition 1 crewmates, Yuri Gidzenko (left) and Sergei Krikalev, juggle oranges during their time aboard the International Space Station. They celebrated both Christmas and the dawn of 2001 in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

With a naval officer in command of the International Space Station, it might have seemed obvious […]

Ding-Dong Merrily On-Orbit: Celebrating Yuletide in Space (Part 2)

Since December 2000, a multi-national mix of Americans and Russians, Japanese and Italians, a Dutchman and a Canadian have celebrated Christmas aboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

As we celebrate the festive period over the coming days, spare a thought for the four men and two women from three discrete nations who are […]

'Ready for a Margarita': 17 Years Since the Shuttle’s Second Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 2)

At the very “top” of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts Greg Harbaugh (left) and Joe Tanner work on the magnetometer cover task. Mark Lee compared Tanner’s ascent to riding his Harley. Photo Credit: NASA

Seventeen years ago this week, NASA launched its second shuttle Servicing Mission (SM-2) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The […]

'A Lot of Unknowns': 17 Years Since the Shuttle's Second Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 1)

Barely illuminated by sunlight, Joe Tanner is pictured during EVA-4 on STS-82. Photo Credit: NASA

Seventeen years ago this week, NASA launched its second shuttle Servicing Mission (SM-2) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The $1.5 billion observatory has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as one of the most successful space-based instruments ever launched. […]

'You and the Rest': Twenty Years Since NASA's Dramatic Hubble Repair Mission (Part 2)

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

Twenty years ago this week, the singular space shuttle mission which marked the demarcation between past and future took place. Since the resumption of flights in September 1988, following the horrific loss of […]