Pad 39A's Next Launch Nears, As Key SpaceX Hardware Erected at Historic Site

SpaceX's Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF), whose construction was completed in 2015, stands astride the "crawlerway", beyond the Pad 39A perimeter. Photo Credit: SpaceX Facebook Group, used with permission

SpaceX’s Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF), whose construction was completed in 2015, stands astride the “crawlerway,” beyond the Pad 39A perimeter. Photo Credit: SpaceX Facebook Group (unofficial), used with permission

Not since 8 July 2011 and the final launch of the Space Shuttle Program—during which Atlantis delivered the STS-135 crew of Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot […]

Lockheed Martin Moves Into Full-Scale Assembly of NASA's SLS EM-1 Orion Spacecraft

The aft bulkhead for the Exploration Mission (EM)-1 spacecraft welded to the barrel of the Orion pressure vessel at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: NASA / Radislav Sinyak

Just six weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of the triumphant maiden voyage of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)—which saw […]

NASA Passes Orion Key Decision Point (KDP)-C, As 'No Later Than' EM-2 Date Shifts to April 2023

Both Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) are passing through, or have passed, their Critical Design Review (CDR), and with Key Decision Point (KDP)-C now complete, the stage is set for the first voyages beyond low-Earth orbit by a human-capable vehicle for the first time since the end of the Apollo era. Image […]

'Eight Days in a Garbage Can': 50 Years Since Gemini V (Part 1)

Illustrating the cramped nature of their eight-day home, astronauts Pete Conrad (background) and Gordo Cooper are in jubilant spirits ahead of their 21 August 1965 launch. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week, astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad experienced “the longest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.” Gemini V was the third […]

'A Nation of Quitters': 45 Years Since the Summer Apollo Ended (Part 2)

Training for a mission which, for one of them, would never come to pass, Dick Gordon (left) and Jack Schmitt work with a mockup of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) during their Apollo 15 backup duties. Schmitt’s importance as a professional geologist assured him a seat on Apollo 17. Gordon was not so lucky. […]

'A Nation of Quitters': 45 Years Since the Summer Apollo Ended (Part 1)

Apollo 15, originally the last of the H-series lunar landing missions, evolved to become the first member of the J-series, following the tumultuous events of 1970. Photo Credit: NASA

In 2011, Hollywood had us believe that the crew of Apollo 18 fell victim to spider-like aliens and a sinister conspiracy, spearheaded by the Department […]

Sleeping On Alien Shores: The Unquiet Slumbers of the Apollo Moonwalkers

Covered in lunar grime, and clad only in his water-cooled underwear, Gene Cernan manages a grin for Jack Schmitt’s camera, aboard the Lunar Module (LM) Challenger during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The astronauts’ space suits can be seen, stashed at the back of the cramped cabin. Above the helmets can be […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 1—'One Small Step'

One of the relatively few images of Neil Armstrong at work on the lunar surface, close to Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

On Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, Texas, was filled with tension and expectant quiet. […]

Top Ten US EVAs of All Time: No. 2—'What We Came For'

Dave Scott works with the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) on the slopes of Hadley Rille during Apollo 15. Photo Credit: NASA

More than four decades have passed since one of the most brilliant missions ever undertaken in the annals of space science. Apollo 15, launched in July 1971, carried U.S. astronauts Dave Scott, Al […]

'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 […]