Mandatory Ascent Abort System Launch Test Lies Ahead Before Orion’s First Crewed NASA SLS Blastoff

This Orion capsule will soar again to space! Homecoming view of NASA’s first Orion spacecraft after returning to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 19, 2014, after successful blastoff on Dec. 5, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL — Before our astronauts will ever be allowed to step inside […]

Scorching Hot Venus May Have Once Had Oceans ... of Carbon Dioxide

Radar image of the northern hemisphere of Venus, taken by the Magellan spacecraft. Radar is necessary to see through Venus’ perpetual cloud cover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

The continued exploration of the planets and moons in our Solar System have revealed many strange things, including that Earth is not the only place with oceans and […]

'Poyekhali!' Remembering Our First Space Voyager (Part 2)

Yuri Gagarin (left) was proudly displayed to the world by a joyful Nikita Khrushchev (right), who recognized the political and ideological advantage which his flight had acquired over the United States. Photo Credit: Roscosmos/The Telegraph

The location at which the feet of Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin—the first human ever to break the bonds of Earth […]

'Poyekhali!' Remembering Our First Space Voyager (Part 1)

Clad in his orange space suit, Yuri Gagain appears pensive in this image recorded during his journey to the launch pad on 12 April 1961. Photo Credit: Roscomos

In the early hours of 11 April 1961—more than five decades ago—an enormous booster trundled humanity’s first manned spacecraft to its launch site in a barren […]

A Watery Yarn: The Unlucky Voyage of Soyuz 23 (Part 2)

Soyuz 23’s descent module and deflated parachute are hoisted from the icy waters of Lake Tengiz. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker / SpaceFacts.de

Almost four decades ago, in the “deep cold” of the Cold War, a number of space missions launched by the Soviet Union to dock with early Salyut space stations failed to accomplish […]

'We Were Swearing!' Thirty Years Since Russia's Brush With Disaster

The Soyuz T-10A crew—Commander Vladimir Titov (left) and Flight Engineer Gennadi Strekalov—were destined to spend about three months aboard Salyut 7. They had also endured an unsuccessful attempt to dock with the space station in April 1983. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker / SpaceFacts.de

Praskovya Mikhailovna Strekalova did not want her son to fly into […]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Roars Through Second Supersonic Flight

On Sept. 5, 2013, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was released from its carrier aircraft and proceeded to conduct its second supersonic flight. Photo Credit: Mars Scientific / Clay Center Observatory

At 8 a.m. PDT, over the deserts of Mojave, Calif., Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2), ferried aloft by the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft, was released, and […]

Retro Space Images: Standing Down Tension by Stepping Up Cooperation

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Together: Remembering ASTP—the view inside Mission Control in Houston during the historic rendezvous on July 17, 1975.

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The Win-Lose of US-China Space Cooperation (China Wins; US Loses)

Would a partnership with China be beneficial to U.S. space efforts? Given recent alleged high-profile hacks of U.S. installations, the country’s poor human rights record, and a litany of other issues, the answer is probably “Bu.” Image Credit: NASA

Ten months after his first term inauguration, President Obama met with President Hu Jintao of […]

Partners in Space: The First U.S.-Russian Manned Space Mission (Part 4)

America’s Apollo, with its docking module (left), approaches Russia’s Soyuz for the first joint manned space exercise between the two superpowers in July 1975. This would mark the high-watermark of their relations, but the late 1970s would signal a harsh decline in friendship and bring them to the brink of war once again. Image […]