Firing Up the Shuttle: Looking Back at the Flight Readiness Firings (Part 2)

For the final time in the 30-year shuttle program, Endeavour’s engines blaze for their Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) on 6 April 1992. Photo Credit: NASA

“Three engines up. All going well.”

Thirty years ago, last week, the three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) of the orbiter Atlantis roared to life and burned fiercely for […]

Firing Up the Shuttle: Looking Back at the Flight Readiness Firings (Part 1)

Each shuttle was powered by a trio of RS-25 Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). These were test-fired before each orbiter’s maiden voyage, during the Flight Readiness Firing (FRF). Image Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne

“And we have a Go for Autosequence Start. Atlantis’ on-board computers now controlling the final sequence.”

Thirty years ago, last week, NASA […]

'To Come to California': Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Voyage

Columbia approaches touchdown at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., 34 years ago today. Photo Credit: NASA

More than three decades have passed since the maiden voyage of the space shuttle. On 12 April 1981, orbiter Columbia rocketed away from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), kicking off a new era which would […]

Dawn of an Era: Remembering Shuttle Columbia's Maiden Launch


Thirty-four years ago, today, at dawn, Columbia roared into orbit, heralding the dawn of a new era in U.S. space exploration. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/

Thirty-four years ago, today, on 12 April 1981, the first winged orbital space vehicle carrying human pilots was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) […]

'Shuttleman' Scott G. Phillips Keeps Shuttle Spirit Alive With Tribute Models, New Book

Scott G. Phillips stands by his space shuttle tribute display. Phillips’ new memoir, Remove Before Flight, tells the story of his own personal shuttle odyssey. Photo Credit: Scott G. Phillips

Since the beginning of the space shuttle era, which kicked off with STS-1’s triumphant launch in 1981, space buffs, historians, and writers chronicling the […]

US Space Walk of Fame Museum Dedicates New Space Shuttle Monument

A view of Space View Park’s shuttle monument, which was dedicated this past weekend. This monument pays tribute to the thousands of workers and engineers who made the shuttle program a success, despite adversity. Photo Credit: Space View Park website (

This past Saturday morning, on Nov. 1, various space luminaries, shuttle astronauts, members […]

Retro Space Images: Happy Birthday to Astronaut Bob Crippen!

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Light the Candles: Happy Birthday wishes going out to space shuttle veteran and former Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Crippen, who was born in 1937. The four-time space shuttle astronaut was pilot aboard the first shuttle mission in 1981, and then commanded STS-7, STS-41-C, and STS-41G. Photo shows […]

Retro Space Images: Not Quite Finished

Photo Credit: Tom & Mark Usciak

In Need Of a High-Tech Facelift — Space Shuttle Columbia is minus a few heat shield tiles as she is delivered to Kennedy Space Center for the first time on March 24, 1979. Photo by AmericaSpace’s Tom and Mark Usciak.

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Retro Space Images: Hail Columbia

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

A New Era — Sunset at Launch Complex 39A as Space Shuttle Columbia is prepared for her first launch attempt. Photo was taken April 9, 1981.


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Astronaut Hall of Fame Inductees Talk Dreams, Discuss Current State of US Space Program

Video courtesy of AmericaSpace

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The three astronauts that were inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Saturday, April 20 spoke with members of the media just prior to the induction ceremony. During the question and answer session that followed, they detailed what they believed their […]