Dawn of an Era: Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Launch

 

Thirty-four years ago, today, at dawn, Columbia roared into orbit, heralding the dawn of a new era in U.S. space exploration. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-four years ago, today, on 12 April 1981, the first winged orbital space vehicle carrying human pilots was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'Bored to Tears': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 1)

Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell and Fred Haise discuss their April 1970 ordeal during last month’s 45th anniversary commemorative event at San Diego Air & Space Museum. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher / AmericaSpace

By the spring of 1970, six months had passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin triumphantly fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s […]

'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 […]

Veteran Shuttle Pilot and Adventurer Bill Oefelein Turns 50 Today

Bill Oefelein was one of the first members of his astronaut class to venture into space and the first Alaskan to reach orbit. He turns 50 today. Photo Credit: NASA

Although he forged an unfortunate place in popular culture and gained intense media attention in early 2007 as part of a bizarre “love triangle,” […]

US Human Path Back to Space Rising This Summer at ULA Launch Pad and Rocket Factory

Launch Complex 41 gets a radical new look and use soon! Artist’s concept of Boeing’s CST-100 space taxi ready for liftoff atop a man rated ULA Atlas-V rocket showing new crew access tower and arm at Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fl. Credit: ULA

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL […]

'Since the Earth Cooled': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-67 (Part 2)

Endeavour touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 18 March 1995, after almost 17 days in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Records are there to be broken, and in March 1995—20 years ago, this week—the crew of Endeavour was midway through what turned out to be the longest flight in shuttle program history […]

'Instant Daylight': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-67 (Part 1)

Commander Steve Oswald leads the STS-67 crew out of the Operations and Checkout Building on the late evening of 1 March 1995, bound for a liftoff in the small hours of the following morning. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, seven astronauts, including four professional astronomers, were midway through what turned out […]

Now You See It: 25 Years Since the Mysterious Mission of STS-36 (Part 1)

The official crew patch for shuttle mission STS-36, which launched 25 years ago today, on 28 February 1990. Image Credit: NASA

Something strange happened in March 1990. Ground-based observers were busy tracking the orbital progress of a classified Department of Defense payload, recently deployed by the crew of Shuttle Atlantis on STS-36—Commander John “J.O.” […]

NASA’s Upgraded Crawler Transporter-2 Takes Test Drive With SLS Modifications

NASA’s crawler-transporters have been hauling rockets and spacecraft to launch pad for 50 years. Image credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

NASA’s crawler-transporters have been hauling rockets and spacecraft to launch pad for 50 years. Image Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

NASA’s massive Crawler Transporter-2, also known as CT-2, was moved on Monday, Feb. 23, to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to test the completed modifications that will allow it to transport NASA’s next heavy-lift rocket and Orion […]