'A New Orbiter Joins the Shuttle Fleet': 30 Years Since Atlantis' Maiden Voyage (Part 2)

Not until the summer of 1998 were any images from this most “vanilla” of Department of Defense flights revealed … although the nature of the flight had long since trickled into the public domain. A pair of Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)-III satellites, mounted atop a Boeing-built Inertial Upper Stage, are here raised to […]

'For Tasks That Might or Might Not Take Place': 30 Years Since Atlantis' Maiden Voyage (Part 1)

During the course of her 33-mission career, which began 30 years ago on 3 October 1985, Atlantis flew more Department of Defense assignments than any other orbiter, beginning with her maiden voyage, 51J. In keeping with DoD missions, the patch was both highly symbolic and patriotic. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years […]

Venus, Unmasked: 25 Years Since the Arrival of Magellan at Earth's Evil Twin

Radar image of the northern hemisphere of Venus, taken by the Magellan spacecraft. During its 50 months in orbit around Earth’s evil twin, which began 25 years ago today, Magellan radar-mapped 98 percent of the surface. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Twenty-five years ago, today, a spacecraft slipped silently into orbit around Venus to begin an […]

Mission to Unveil Earth's Twisted Sister: 25 Years Since STS-30 (Part 2)

Atlantis roars into orbit on her fourth mission to deploy NASA’s Magellan spacecraft on a 15-month voyage to Venus. Photo Credit: NASA, via SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago today, on 4 May 1989, Shuttle Atlantis thundered into orbit on a remarkable mission which would unveil the planet Venus—nicknamed Earth’s “twisted sister”—in a wholly new light. During […]

Photo Feature: Double (No) Trouble—ULA Atlas V With AEHF-3 and Orbital's Antares With Cygnus 1

AmericaSpace broke its core photography team into two elements this past week to report on two launches taking place in a single day. Photo Credit: Alan Walters & John Studwell / AmericaSpace

Virginia Is for (Rocket) Lovers:

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va — Concerns about high-upper level winds and cloud ceilings failed to materialize this past […]

One Day, Two Launches: East Coast Launch Facilities Set to Roar Tomorrow

As it currently stands, two launches will take place off the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 18. Photo Credit: Mike Howard & Jason Rhian / AmericaSpace

WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va — From two different locations, NASA, in partnership with Orbital Sciences Corporation, along with United Launch Alliance ULA) and the U.S. Air Force, are preparing […]

In Honor of David: The Astronaut Who Inspired Orbital’s First Cygnus Mission (Part 2)

The Cygnus 1 spacecraft is seen here being integrated onto the Antares launch vehicle. Cygnus 1 has been renamed in honor of the late David G. Low. Photo Credit: NASA / Orbital

Only days remain before the scheduled 18 September launch of the first Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station by Orbital […]

A Legacy of Women in Space: Twenty Years Since STS-57 (Part 2)

With the RMS robotic arm deftly operated by Nancy Sherlock, astronauts David Low and Jeff Wisoff are maneuvered around Endeavour’s payload bay. The Spacehab module is clearly visible in the foreground. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago this month, the first woman ventured into space. Thirty years ago, also this month, the first U.S. […]

A Legacy of Women in Space: Twenty Years Since STS-57 (Part 1)

Joined by Pilot Brian Duffy, STS-57 Mission Specialists Janice Voss (left) and Nancy Sherlock made history on the flight. For the first time, a civilian woman and a military woman served together aboard the same space mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago this month, the first woman ventured into space. Thirty years ago, […]

International Year, International Mission: The Changing Fortunes of STS-42

STS-42 mission brochure, personally signed to me by Commander Ron Grabe. I received this brochure in January 1992 – only days before the mission was launched – and for a 15-year-old space enthusiast it was a priceless treasure. Image Credit: Ben Evans personal collection

One summer evening, early in August 1492 three ships – […]