Veteran Astronaut Kevin Ford Departs NASA

Kevin Ford is reflected and inverted in a blob of water, during his five-month Expedition 33/34 increment. Photo Credit: NASA

Kevin Ford is reflected and inverted in a blob of water, during his five-month Expedition 33/34 increment. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Kevin Ford—who piloted one of the twilight missions of shuttle Discovery’s glittering career, before commanding the International Space Station (ISS) for over 100 days—departed NASA on Friday, 29 January. The retired Air Force […]

'To Touch the Face of God': 30 Years Since the Loss of Challenger (Part 2)

Challenger's final crew, as they should be remembered: Positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity's reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. Image Credit: NASA

Challenger’s final crew, as they should be remembered: Positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity’s reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. […]

'Obviously A Major Malfunction': 30 Years Since the Loss of Challenger (Part 1)

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger's tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, on 28 January 1986, one of the worst and most public disasters in U.S. space history unfolded with horrifying suddenness in the […]

On Challenger's 30th Anniversary, NASA Reflects On its Fallen Heroes

Floral tributes offer a touch of color against the drab gray and black of the Space Mirror Memorial and the day itself. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

For NASA, the fourth and fifth weeks of each year have always carried a somber mood of reflection and resolve, in which the glories of past successes—including Voyager […]

'How Adaptable Humans Are': 20 Years Since STS-72 (Part 2)

With an octagonal centerpiece, to honor the Space Flyer Unit (SFU), the STS-72 crew patch highlighted each of the mission's core objectives, as well as the surnames of the crew. Image Credit: NASA

Grappled by Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, the Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU) satellite is readied for installation in the payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, last week, in January 1996, Shuttle Endeavour and a six-man crew—Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Brent Jett, and Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao, […]

Mission for Japan: 20 Years Since STS-72 (Part 1)

Endeavour roars into the night on 11 January 1996. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, STS-72 showcased the space shuttle’s myriad capabilities in satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous, science, and spacewalking. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, six astronauts executed a mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle’s capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, research, and spacewalking—to the […]

The Real Mission Impossible: 30 Years Since Mission 61C (Part 2)

Columbia swoops like a bird of prey into Edwards Air Force Base on 18 January 1986, just ten days ahead of the Challenger tragedy. Commander Robert "Hoot" Gibson would later refer to this mission as "The End of Innocence" ... for after Challenger the Shuttle program would never be the same again. Photo Credit: NASA

Robert “Hoot” Gibson (right) and George “Pinky” Nelson lead the 61C crew out of the Operations & Checkout Building for launch. Following is crewmate Steve Hawley. Photo Credit: NASA

On Mission 61C, launched 30 years ago next week, on 12 January 1986, Space Shuttle Columbia was making her first orbital flight in over two […]

Three New Crew Members Talk About Upcoming Space Station Expedition

Jeff Williams (left) is presently one of America's most seasoned spacefarers. By the time he returns to Earth in September 2016, he will eclipse Scott Kelly as holder of the record for the longest cumulative time in orbit. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

The Soyuz TMA-20M crew of (from left) Oleg Skripochka, Alexei Ovchinin, and Jeff Williams will launch from Baikonur on 19 March. They will form the second half of Expedition 47 and later rotate into the core of Expedition 48 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Three new crew members gathered […]

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 […]

Boeing Receives Second Post-Certification Commercial Crew Mission

Boeing's CST-100 "Starliner" spacecraft is depicted here climbing to orbit. The company will begin flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA as soon as 2017. Image Credit: Boeing

Boeing’s CST-100 “Starliner” spacecraft is depicted here climbing to orbit. The company will begin flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA as soon as 2017. Image Credit: Boeing

For the second time this year, Boeing has received a Post-Certification Mission (PCM) order from NASA to perform a dedicated crew […]