'Once-In-A-Career Opportunity': 20 Years Since Columbia's Landing-to-Launch Record (Part 1)

After the shortest operational flight in the Space Shuttle Program, Columbia touches down at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on 8 April 1997. Her STS-83 mission had lasted just a few minutes shy of four full days in space. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighty-four days. A mere 12 weeks on Earth, 84 days […]

Five Decades of Celebrating Christmas in Space (Part 2)

Expedition 26 crew members Paolo Nespoli (left), Scott Kelly (top), and Catherine “Cady” Coleman bail out of their sleeping quarters in the Harmony node of the International Space Station (ISS) on Christmas morning in 2010. Photo Credit: NASA

As we celebrate the Christmas period, spare a thought for the six men from three discrete […]

'Without Travel Orders': 20 Years Since the Marathon Flight of STS-73 (Part 2)

Clad in their respective “red” and “blue” shirts, to denote their membership of the 12-hour Red and Blue Teams, the STS-73 crew pose for an in-flight portrait in the Spacelab module. Front row (from left) are Kathy Thornton, Mike Lopez-Alegria, and Ken Bowersox, with Catherine “Cady” Coleman and Fred Leslie in the middle row, […]

'Not For Geeks': 20 Years Since the Marathon Mission of STS-73 (Part 1)

With her port-side payload bay door positioned at 62-degrees-open, in order to guard against Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) impacts in a gravity gradient attitude, Columbia sails through her long-delayed 18th mission in October-November 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

The “geek” has long been recognized as an eccentric, non-mainstream individual, usually imbued with a peculiar or […]

Cassidy Appointed Next Chief of Astronaut Office, Others Move to Management, As NASA Makes Commercial Crew Decisions

Chris Cassidy is helped from Soyuz TMA-08M by a group of supportive hands, including Chief Astronaut Bob Behnken (left) in September 2013. Behnken has now handed the reins of the Astronaut Office to Cassidy as the next chief. Photo Credit: NASA

Less than two years since returning from his most recent mission, and after […]

Ding-Dong Merrily On-Orbit: Celebrating Yuletide in Space (Part 2)

Since December 2000, a multi-national mix of Americans and Russians, Japanese and Italians, a Dutchman and a Canadian have celebrated Christmas aboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

As we celebrate the festive period over the coming days, spare a thought for the four men and two women from three discrete nations who […]

'Whatever Was Needed': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 2)

Columbia roars into the darkened Florida sky at 12:31 a.m. EDT on 23 July 1999. It would be one of the most hazardous launch phases in shuttle history. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the first woman ever to lead a space mission was launched aboard Shuttle Columbia to deliver NASA’s $1.5 […]

'Making Superman Jealous': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 1)

Eileen Collins, the first female spacecraft commander in history, floats in Columbia’s middeck, 15 years ago this week. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s great to be back in zero-g again,” said STS-93 commander Eileen Collins, early on 23 July 1999, as she and her four crewmates set about preparing the Shuttle Columbia for five days […]

The Zero Gravity Coffee Cup

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/nZYsOG60dKQ[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of Science at NASA

High above our planet in the realm of satellites and space stations, the familiar rules of Earth do not apply. The midday sky is as black as night. There is no up and no down. Dropped objects do not fall, and hot air does […]