NASA Announces Payloads for First SLS Mission

An SLS in its Block 1 configuration goes up, up, and away in this artist’s rendering. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It may still be almost three years into the future, but the maiden voyage of NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) booster—destined to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in five decades—drew […]

Five Decades of Celebrating Christmas in Space (Part 1)

The new crew, as well as the incumbent "core" of Expedition 46, meet in Russia's Zvezda service module for the customary post-docking press conference. Photo Credit: NASA TV

Truly the voyage of Apollo 8 over the Christmas period in 1968 carried with it the most profound message of the Greatest Story Ever Told: a message of peace, goodwill and harmony to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time, an American citizen recorded as many as three Christmases […]

'A Real Bright Star': 50 Years Since the First Space Rendezvous (Part 2)

Just 1.2 seconds after engine ignition on 12 December 1965, the Titan II suffered a premature shutdown. Instantly, Wally Schirra faced a life-or-death gamble: to hold his nerve or pull the ejection handle. He held his nerve and Gemini VI-A survived to fly another day. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s death … or the ejection […]

'It's Death or the Ejection Seat': 50 Years Since the First Space Rendezvous (Part 1)

Backdropped by the grandeur of Earth, Gemini VII drifts serenely in the inky darkness, as seen from Gemini VI-A. Photo Credit: NASA

Just before Christmas in 1965—50 years ago, next week—a pair of Gemini spacecraft serenely circled Earth together and in close proximity. Aboard Gemini VII, astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell were midway through […]

NASA Developing New 'Chemical Laptop' to Search for Evidence of Alien Life

The "Chemical Laptop" being designed by NASA to help search for evidence of alien life elsewhere in the Solar System. Photo Credit: NASA

The “Chemical Laptop” being designed by NASA to help search for evidence of alien life elsewhere in the Solar System. Photo Credit: NASA

One of NASA’s primary objectives, and the one which most excites the general public, is the search for evidence of life elsewhere, whether in our own Solar System or on some […]

Orion Heat Shield Receives Upgrade, Ahead of EM-1 Mission

Returning from lunar distance, the Thermal Protection System (TPS) of Orion's Crew Module (CM) is expected to endure markedly higher temperatures than those experienced by returning shuttles. Image Credit: NASA

Returning from lunar distance, the Thermal Protection System (TPS) of Orion’s Crew Module (CM) is expected to endure markedly higher temperatures than those experienced by returning shuttles. Image Credit: NASA

Nearly 12 months since it embarked on its long-awaited Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1 mission—which accomplished the farthest distance ever attained from the Home Planet […]

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 […]