'Send Up a Tanker': 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 2)

To this day, Gemini XI retains the record for the highest altitude ever achieved by an Earth-orbital piloted mission. Only the Apollo lunar expeditions traveled further. Photo Credit: NASA

Tethering Gemini XI to Agena-XI was part of an experiment to evaluate the controllability of two vehicles in close proximity without control inputs. Photo Credit: NASA

Half a century ago, this coming week, on 12 September 1966, Gemini XI astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad and Dick Gordon launched from Earth within a two-second-long “window” and […]

Through the Lens: OSIRIS-REX Begins Epic 7-Year Mission to Asteroid Bennu and Back

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Liftoff of the highly reliable Atlas V—flying in its rarely-used “411” configuration, and is now in the process of being delivered out of Earth’s gravitational clutches as it begins a two-year journey to reach Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Earlier this week, ULA successfully […]

'Would You Believe M=1?' 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 1)

Pete Conrad (foreground) and Dick Gordon, with dark EVA visor, are pictured aboard Gemini IX. Both men later journeyed to the Moon together on Apollo 12. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon’s Gemini XI mission would carry them to a peak 850 miles (1,370 km), which remains the highest altitude of any Earth-orbital mission. Only the Apollo lunar flights traveled higher on their expeditions to the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Not all astronauts get on with […]

OSIRIS-REx Launches on Multi-Year Mission to Asteroid Bennu

Precisely on the opening of tonight's 115-minute "launch window", the Atlas V 411 took flight. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Precisely on the opening of tonight’s 115-minute “launch window,” the Atlas V 411 took flight. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its […]

OSIRIS-REx Stands Ready for Date With Asteroid Bennu (Part 2)

OSIRIS-REx is revealed after its protective cover is removed at NASA Kennedy's Payload Processing Hazardous Facility at NASA Kennedy.

An artist’s rendering of OSIRIS-REx at asteroid 101955 Bennu. Its solar arrays will be configured in a “Y-wing” shape to avoid dust accumulation. Image Credit: NASA

Tomorrow evening, if all goes well, a spacecraft destined to visit, retrieve, and return samples from a near-pristine “carbonaceous” asteroid will roar aloft atop a unique “flying-sideways” rocket […]

Expedition 48 Crew Wraps Up Six-Month Space Station Mission

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States' most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

Wrapping up his fourth space mission, Jeff Williams is now the United States’ most experienced space traveler, with over 534 cumulative days away from the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA TV

After more than 172 days in space, U.S. national-record-breaking astronaut Jeff Williams and his Russian crewmates Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka have landed […]

OSIRIS-REx Stands Ready for Date With Asteroid Bennu (Part 1)

OSIRIS-Rex in the vicinity of the asteroid Bennu. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed assembly at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver, Colo. Over the next several months engineers will put the spacecraft through a series of intense tests. The $800 million mission to retrieve samples from Astroid Bennu is scheduled to launch in September 2016. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

Just two days […]

Camping Without Marshmallows: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 2)

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Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean are barely visible, slightly right-of-center, working on the P-3/P-4 truss during EVA-2. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this month, the crew of Shuttle Atlantis—Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson, and Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, and Canada’s Steve MacLean—roared into orbit to restart the construction […]

NASA's InSight Mission to Mars Approved for Spring 2018 Launch

Artist's conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s conception of InSight on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s InSight mission to Mars will now go ahead as planned, it was announced today. After a delay due to a vacuum leak last December, with a launch originally slated for last March, it was unclear whether the mission would still be […]

In For the Long Haul: 10 Years Since STS-115 (Part 1)

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Joe Tanner had already performed five EVAs before STS-115 left Earth. By the time he returned from the mission, he had completed seven EVAs and spent 46.5 hours outside a spacecraft. Even today, he stands as the 13th most seasoned spacewalker of all time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

At first glance, shuttle […]