'All of You on the Good Earth': Celebrating Christmas Away from the Home Planet (Part 1)

With a fire unavailable, the Christmas stockings of consecutive International Space Station (ISS) crews have been hung by the hatch—with care, of course. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time, a woman will record as many as two Christmases spent away from the Home Planet tomorrow (Sunday), whilst orbiting Earth aboard the International Space […]

The Single Data Point: Remembering John Glenn's Return to Space (Part 2)

President Bill Clinton introduces the STS-95 crew, including John Glenn, at a press conference at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, in April 1998. Photo Credit: NASA

Three weeks before the New Era began, the Old Era ended.

Today, 1998 is remembered as the year in which the on-orbit fabrication of the […]

'A Chart Jumped Out At Me': Remembering John Glenn's Return to Space (Part 1)

On 29 October 1998, at the age of 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Even today, almost two decades since his headline-grabbing flight, veteran Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn retains the world record as the oldest living human […]

'An Amazing and Wonderful Experience': 20 Years Since STS-77’s Record-Setting Rendezvous Mission (Part 2)

STS-77’s primary cargoes dominate this view of Endeavour’s payload bay in orbit. In the foreground is the Spacehab-4 module, with SPARTAN-207 visible in the background. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago this week, six men orbited Earth aboard Shuttle Endeavour on one of the most complex research flights ever conducted in […]

'Wide-Eyed Dreamers': 20 Years Since STS-77's Record-Setting Rendezvous Mission (Part 1)

The Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) extends from the SPARTAN-207 free-flying satellite, after deployment. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Early on 20 May 1996, NASA astronaut Mario Runco, Jr., grappled SPARTAN-207—a small, free-flying spacecraft, equipped with a very unique experiment—and lifted it from Shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay with the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) […]

Ding-Dong Merrily On-Orbit: Celebrating Yuletide in Space (Part 1)

Truly the voyage of Apollo 8 over the Christmas period in 1968 carried with it the most profound message of the Greatest Story Ever Told: a message of peace, goodwill and harmony to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time in history, two women will celebrate Christmas on Thursday, […]

‘For a Deeper Understanding': 15 Years Since the Third Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 2)

Orbital sunrise causes the solar arrays of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to glisten in this spectacular view from STS-103. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, next week, seven men with ancestries in four sovereign nations—the United States, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom—embarked on one of the most difficult flights of the entire […]

'A Question of Losing Science': 15 Years Since the Third Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 1)

Fifteen years ago, NASA launched its third shuttle crew to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The iconic observatory remains functional to this day. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, next week, Shuttle Discovery rocketed into orbit on a mission to dramatically service and repair the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). In doing so, the […]

The 'MAHRSI Football' and Shuttle-Mir: 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 2)

Beautiful view of the ATLAS-3 instruments aboard Atlantis’ payload bay during STS-66. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest with the return to flight of Shuttle Atlantis, following a lengthy period of refurbishment. Since her STS-46 mission in July 1992, she had undergone many modifications to […]

'Back to the Skies': 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 1)

STS-66 signed crew portrait, sent to the author by Commander Don McMonagle (seated at right). He was joined on the crew by (from left) Jean-Francois Clervoy, Scott Parazynski, Curt Brown, Joe Tanner and Ellen Ochoa. Photo Credit: NASA/Ben Evans personal collection

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest with […]