'Roger, Go': Remembering the Shuttle's Return to Flight, 30 Years Ago

Thirty years ago, at 11:38 a.m. EDT on 29 September 1988, America returned to space with humans for the first time in the 32 months since Challenger. Photo Credit: NASA

As America prepares for another “return to flight” next year—carrying astronauts to low-Earth orbit aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon—a moment of […]

Summer of the Shuttle: Remembering the Ill-Fated Summer of '84

An ominous cloud of smoke billows away from Pad 39A in the seconds after a problematic Main Engine Start on 26 June 1984. Photo Credit: NASA

More than 30 summers ago, America’s shuttle program should have entered its prime. Touted for over a decade as capable of flying regularly and routinely, the early summer […]

A Sore Head: Americans in Space on Independence Day

On 4 July 1982, the crew of STS-4 became the first U.S. astronauts to spend Independence Day in space. It also marked the date of their spectacular return to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: NASA

For almost two decades, the Fourth of July—that most quintessential day of celebration in the United States—has […]

'They Didn't Have a Clue': Remembering Endeavour's STS-57 Mission, A Quarter-Century On

With the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm deftly operated by Nancy Sherlock, astronauts David Low and Jeff Wisoff are maneuvered around Endeavour’s payload bay. The Spacehab module is clearly visible in the foreground. Photo Credit: NASA

June has always been a significant month in the annals of women in space. In June 1963, the […]

Ride, Sally Ride: 35 Years Since America's First Woman in Space

Sally Ride on Challenger’s flight deck during STS-7. Her mission opened the door for U.S. women to venture into orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, this week, America launched its first woman into space. Physicist Dr. Sally Ride rocketed into orbit aboard shuttle Challenger—accompanied by fellow STS-7 astronauts Bob Crippen, Rick Hauck, John […]

'Why I Wasn't Devastated': Remembering the Final Shuttle-Mir Mission, 20 Years On

STS-91 marked the ninth and final docking mission between the shuttle and Russia’s Mir space station. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, shuttle Discovery pulled away from Russia’s Mir space station for the final time, closing out a group of impressive rendezvous and docking missions which had cemented a new partnership between […]

Don Peterson, First Shuttle Spacewalker, Dies Aged 84

 

Don Peterson (right) eats and confers with Commander Paul “P.J.” Weitz during STS-6. Weitz died last year. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Veteran astronaut Don Peterson, who flew aboard STS-6, the maiden voyage of orbiter Challenger, performed the first-ever spacewalk from the shuttle airlock and might—had the hands of fate turned differently—have […]

'Even Better at Night': 25 Years Since the Artificial Sunrise of STS-56

Twenty-five years ago, after one false start, Discovery roared into space to begin a mission of exploration for the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, tonight, in the seconds leading up to 1:29 a.m. EDT on 8 April 1993, all eyes were on the three dark bells of Discovery’s […]

'All You See Are Red Lights': 25 Years Since Columbia's Dramatic Aborted Launch Attempt

Columbia’s engines flare to life on 22 March 1993, a quarter-century ago, this week, in the third Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort of the shuttle program. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, in March 1993, shuttle Columbia stood ready on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, awaiting liftoff on […]

'To Fly the First One': 40 Years Since the First Space Shuttle Crews

In March 1978, a “pool” of crew members were announced for the first four Orbital Flight Tests (OFTs) of the shuttle. At their initial press conference (from left) are Gordon Fullerton, Vance Brand, Jack Lousma, Fred Haise, Richard Truly, Joe Engle, Robert Crippen and John Young. Photo Credit: NASA

In the coming months, the […]