'Nice Round Number': 15 Years Since STS-100 Shook Hands at the Space Station (Part 1)

Canadarm2 is pictured affixed to the U.S. Destiny lab, as Endeavour departs the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

15 years ago, this month, Canadarm2 was installed at the International Space Station (ISS). Shuttle mission STS-100 marked the first occasion that as many as four discrete nations had been represented on a single flight and saw Chris Hadfield become Canada’s first spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Within the last month, NASA’s […]

'To Come to California': 35 Years Since STS-1 Inaugurated the Space Shuttle Program (Part 2)

After its Thermal Protection System (TPS) successfully bore the brunt of the fiery return to Earth, Columbia performed an unpowered, “deadstick” landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 14 April 1981. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty-five years have now passed since the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Program. On the […]

'You Don't Go Fly When You Got Debts': 35 Years Since STS-1 Inaugurated the Space Shuttle Program (Part 1)

Young (left) and Crippen at their respective flight deck stations during training. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

STS-1’s launch in April 1981, some 35 years ago this month, began a new era of spaceflight. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, on 12 April 1981, the first winged orbital space vehicle carrying human pilots was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Aboard Columbia for STS-1—the long-awaited maiden […]

'Probably Earned My Keep': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 2)

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, the crew of Atlantis delivered into orbit the heaviest scientific payload ever launched at that time by the space shuttle. Commander Steve Nagel, Pilot Ken Cameron, and Mission Specialists Linda […]

'If It Goes Poorly, You Take the Blame': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 1)

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through shuttle Atlantis' aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through Shuttle Atlantis’ aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For a few hours in early April 1991, it seemed that things could not get any worse for NASA. A year earlier, the first […]

Jeff Williams and 'Sardines' Top the U.S. Spaceflight Experience Table

Jeff Williams became the first Sardine to perform an EVA on shuttle mission STS-101 in May 2000. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Jeff Williams (left), pictured in January 2016, stands to become America’s most experienced spacefarer later this year. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Newly-arrived Expedition 47 astronaut Jeff Williams—who boarded the International Space Station (ISS) almost two weeks ago, thereby kicking off his third discrete increment aboard the orbiting outpost—assisted with the establishment of a new […]

'No Reason For the People Inside to Starve': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 2)

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim […]

'Those Things Don't Happen By Accident': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 1)

STS-76 marked the fourth shuttle to rendezvous with Mir, and the third to dock. It also marked the first shuttle flight to land with fewer crew members than it launched with. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

STS-76 was the fourth shuttle mission to rendezvous, and the third to dock, with Russia’s Mir space station. It also marked the first shuttle mission to deliver a long-duration crew member and return to Earth with a smaller crew than that with which it launched. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, […]

Columbia's Final Commander Honored in Upcoming Cygnus Resupply Mission to ISS

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship "S.S. Rick Husband", packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

Stunning perspective of the departure of the OA-4 Cygnus on 19 February. Less than six weeks later, the OA-6 Cygnus will transport a range of research payloads to the International Space Station (ISS) and will bear the name of an astronaut who actually helped build the orbital outpost. Photo Credit: NASA/Tim Peake/Twitter

In keeping […]

'Broken at the Boom': 20 Years Since STS-75 (Part 2)

sts75tether

Spectacular view of Columbia’s payload bay and aft compartment, during STS-75. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit carrying one of the most unusual experiments on record: the reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1R). It was intended to demonstrate the “electrodynamics” of a conducting tether […]