'A Heck of a Push': 30 Years Since the Dramatic Rescue of Mission 51I (Part 2)

The sheer size of the 15,000-pound (6,800-kg) Leasat-3 satellite is illustrated in this view of James “Ox” van Hoften manhandling it into space on Mission 51I. Photo Credit: NASA

For Dick Covey, the instant Space Shuttle Discovery broke the shackles of Earth on the cusp of daybreak on 27 August 1985 had been a […]

'Winging It': 30 Years Since the Dramatic Rescue of Mission 51I (Part 1)

In a triumphant ending to a triumphant space salvage, James “Ox” van Hoften strikes a Charles Atlas pose on the end of the shuttle’s RMS mechanical arm, seemingly hoisting the world on his shoulders. Photo Credit: NASA

When Discovery touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in […]

Soyuz TMA-16M Crew Prepares for Spacecraft Switch, Ahead of Soyuz TMA-18M Arrival

Soyuz TMA-16M approaches the International Space Station (ISS) on 26/27 March, as viewed by Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts. After five months attached to the station, Soyuz TMA-16M and its crew of Gennadi Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko, and Scott Kelly will perform a relocation flyabout tomorrow. Photo Credit: Terry Virts/NASA/Twitter

After five months in a […]

Second SpaceX Mission in Two Weeks Gears Up for Monday Launch

Since its maiden voyage in September 2013, the Falcon 9 v1.1 has delivered payloads into low-Earth orbit, Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and onto Earth-escape trajectories to the L2 Lagrange Point. Photo Credit SpaceX

Less than two weeks since the rousing launch of the CRS-6 Dragon cargo mission toward the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX […]

'Somebody Get a Camera': 25 Years Since the Launch of Hubble (Part 2)

Twenty-five years after its April 1990 launch, the iconic Hubble Space Telescope remains functional. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, yesterday, on 24 April 1990, one of the most important missions in the annals of scientific discovery got underway, with the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history article, […]

'Monster Flight': 25 Years Since Launch of Hubble (Part 1)

The moment of deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), as seen from the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC). Photo Credit: NASA

“If there were ever two missions that were completely opposite in terms of the public attention that was given to them,” astronaut Loren Shriver once said, “it would be my first and […]

Don Pettit, Fourth Most Experienced US Astronaut, Turns 60 Today

Don Pettit holds a still camera as he looks through the nadir window in the Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS). The islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura of the Canary Island chain in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco are visible. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Don Pettit, a veteran of […]

All Hail the Deputy Chief: Veteran Spacewalker Chris Cassidy Assumes Senior Astronaut Office Role

Chris Cassidy conducts Earth observations and photography in the space station’s multi-windowed cupola during his six-month ISS expedition in 2013. Photo Credit: NASA

Less than a year since his elevation to Chief of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Robotics within the Astronaut Office (Code CB) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas—and only […]

'We Show You on the Mains': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 4)

Seen later in the mission, the damage to an entire side panel of Apollo 13’s service module is apparent. It remains miraculous that the crew survived. Photo Credit: NASA

By the middle of April 1970, Project Apollo—America’s effort to land a man on the lunar surface—had reached one of its most decisive points of […]

'It's a Beauty': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 3)

Astronauts gather in Mission Control at the height of the crisis. Seated (from left) are Deke Slayton, Jack Lousma and John Young, with Ken Mattingly and Vance Brand standing. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this week, the lives of three humans literally hung in the balance, more than 200,000 miles (320,000 km) from […]