'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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

Remembering the Dogs of War: 25 Years Since Discovery Closed Out the Shuttle's Military Career

The STS-53 crew, aboard Discovery, during their mission, a quarter-century ago. From left are Guy Bluford, Michael “Rich” Clifford, Dave Walker, Jim Voss and Bob Cabana. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, the five-man crew of shuttle Discovery settled into orbit for a mission about which a cloak of secrecy would […]

'As Exciting As It Gets': Remembering John Glenn's Return to Space

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

Nineteen years ago, today, John Glenn—who had found fame as the first American to orbit the Earth—became the oldest human being ever to break […]

Launching in the Rain: The Delays and Ascent of Mission 51I

On the cusp of daybreak, Mission 51I spreads its wings on 27 August 1985, kicking off one of the most dramatic Shuttle flights in history. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-two years ago, today, Space Shuttle Discovery roared into the pre-dawn darkness from historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), on an ambitious mission […]

Firing Up the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the Last Flight Readiness Firing (Part 2)

Each Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) presented the opportunity to extensively test the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) in as close to real-flight operations. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, on 6 April 1992, the roar of three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) echoed across the marshy landscape of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in […]

Ready for a Margarita: 20 Years Since the Second Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 2)

Twenty years ago, on STS-82, the Hubble Space Telescope was transformed from a 1970s instrument with 1980s optics into an observatory for 21st-century scientific discovery. Photo Credit: NASA

Two decades ago, yesterday, on 11 February 1997, Space Shuttle Discovery roared into the night with a seven-strong crew—Commander Ken Bowersox, Pilot Scott “Doc” Horowitz, Payload […]