'Like a Big Ol' Freight Train': 45 Years Since the Launch of Apollo 17

Apollo 17 launches into the night at 12:33 a.m. EST on 7 December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Forty-five years ago, the combined spacecraft of Apollo 17—the Command and Service Module (CSM), named “America”, and the spider-like Lunar Module (LM), dubbed “Challenger”—slipped smoothly into lunar orbit. In doing so, it represented the […]

Expedition 55 Crew Primed for March 2018 Launch to Space Station

The Soyuz MS-08 crew, from left, consists of Oleg Artemyev, Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel. The trio will spend approximately 5.5 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), launching in March 2018. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Three experienced spacefarers, including an ex-teacher, a former soldier in the Soviet Army and a veteran “Hubble Hugger”, […]

Launching Into the Night: Remembering the Shuttle's Nocturnal Missions in November

Atlantis roars into the night at 7:29 p.m. EST on 26 November 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

More than three decades ago, on the evening of 26 November 1985, shuttle Atlantis roared into the night to begin the week-long voyage of Mission 61B. Her seven-member crew—Commander Brewster Shaw, Pilot Bryan O’Connor, Mission […]

Polar-Orbiting Environment Watcher Launches Atop Second-to-Last Delta II

After two foiled launch attempts on Tuesday and Wednesday, the second-to-last Delta II took flight at 1:47:36 a.m. PST on Saturday, 18 November. Photo Credit: ULA/Walter Scriptunas III

Today’s crackling growl of a Delta II taking flight is expected to be repeated only once more, before this impeccably reliable launch vehicle retires from operational […]

Pad 39A, America's Moonport, Celebrates Over 100 Launches in 50 Years of Service

The launch of Apollo 11 on 16 July 1969 was arguably Pad 39A’s finest hour. Photo Credit: NASA

In a strange twist of irony, Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida was not originally meant to be named “39A” at all. Having supported its first launch, 50 years ago, last week, […]

OA-8 Cygnus Mission to Honor Gene Cernan, 45 Years After Last Moonwalks

The OA-8 Cygnus, pictured in the clean room, with an image of its astronaut namesake, veteran Moonwalker Gene Cernan. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn/AmericaSpace

Only months before its purchase by Northrop Grumman is expected to be finalized, Orbital ATK plans to launch its next Cygnus cargo freighter (OA-8) to the International Space Station (ISS), no […]

Dick Gordon, Gemini High-Flyer and Solo Lunar Orbiter, Dies Aged 88

Dick Gordon (left) and Pete Conrad await the start of an emergency water egress training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico in July 1966. Photo Credit: NASA

Veteran astronaut Dick Gordon, who passed away on Monday, aged 88, brings to just 14 the number of remaining spacefarers who have traveled to the Moon and […]

'Without Breaking the Shell': 50 Years Since the Saturn V's Maiden Launch

At the stroke of 7 a.m. EST on 9 November 1967, the first Saturn V took flight. Photo Credit: NASA

“T-minus-25…,” came the calm, measured tones of the launch announcer in the pre-dawn darkness of Thursday, 9 November 1967. “Stages reporting Ready for Launch…”

Fifty years ago, the largest and most powerful rocket ever […]

Paul Weitz, Skylab Savior and First Challenger Commander, Dies Aged 85

Paul Weitz, pictured at Skylab’s Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM), during his 28-day mission in May-June 1973. Photo Credit: NASA

Veteran astronaut Paul “P.J.” Weitz, who spacewalked to save America’s Skylab space station and later commanded shuttle Challenger on its maiden voyage, died yesterday (Monday, 23 October). He was 85. During a NASA career which […]

Speed and Power: Remembering Columbia's STS-52 Launch, 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, STS-52 launched on a truly international mission, with U.S., European and Canadian participation. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

“A very long six seconds,” said STS-52 Commander Jim Wetherbee, of his final moments on Earth, “because by now, your brain’s working overtime!” A quarter-century ago, today, on 22 October 1992, Wetherbee […]