SpaceX Launches Iridium NEXT-2, Lands Offshore and Pulls Off 'Double-Header' Weekend

The Upgraded Falcon 9 thunders downrange in the first minutes of Sunday afternoon’s flight. Photo Credit: SpaceX/Twitter

With Sunday’s spectacular launch-and-landing of an Upgraded Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., almost a quarter of all of SpaceX’s missions have flown in 2017 alone. Nine launches in the first six months of the […]

'To Make Life as Good as Possible': 25 Years Since STS-50 Stretched the Space Shuttle

A quarter-century ago, STS-50 set a new record for the longest Space Shuttle mission at that time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, next week, the crew of Columbia roared into orbit to begin the longest shuttle mission ever attempted at that time. Equipped with the Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) hardware—a […]

'Magic Carpet Ride': 40 Years Since Enterprise Took the Space Shuttle to Altitude (Part 2)

Enterprise’s Captive-Active flights, which began 40 years ago, this month, laid the groundwork for the Free Flights and eventually the maiden Space Shuttle mission. Photo Credit: NASA

The Approach and Landing Test (ALT) series of the Space Shuttle, which began 40 years ago, in the summer of 1977, were “just that”, in the words […]

'In a Real Flight Environment': 40 Years Since Enterprise Took the Space Shuttle to Altitude (Part 1)

Flying Enterprise for her test flights were (from left) Gordon Fullerton, Fred Haise, Joe Engle and Dick Truly. Photo Credit: NASA

Four decades ago, this summer, a shuttle (though not a “space” shuttle) took to the skies above Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to show the world what she could do. Outwardly, Orbiter Vehicle […]

‘Knight in Shining Armor': 10 Years Since STS-117 Changed the Face of the Space Station (Part 2)

John “Danny” Olivas is just barely visible at center-right, near the deploying Photovoltaic Radiator (PVR) on the S-3/S-4 truss during the first spacewalk of STS-117. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on what would turn out to be the longest mission of her storied career, lasting almost 14 […]

First Reusable Dragon Cargo Mission Launches Science and Supplies to Space Station

The CRS-11 Falcon 9 first stage returns to Earth, making a successful landing back at Cape Canaveral AFS after launching Dragon to the ISS minutes earlier from KSC pad 39A. Photo Credit: NASA TV

If candles celebrate an anniversary, then the roar of Merlin 1D+ rocket engines honored the 100th launch from Pad 39A […]

'Just Do It...Again': 10 Years Since STS-117 Changed the Face of the Space Station (Part 1)

Atlantis launches on her longest space mission on 8 June 2007. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years have now passed since STS-117 literally changed the face of the International Space Station (ISS), delivering and activating a new set of power-producing solar arrays, batteries and radiators. Aboard shuttle Atlantis in June 2007 for what would turn […]

'The Clock Was Ticking': 15 Years Since STS-111’s Repairmen Visited the Space Station (Part 2)

Endeavour is pictured docked to the space station’s U.S. Destiny lab, with the S-0 truss visible at far right. Also visible are the shuttle’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm at center and a portion of Canadarm2 at bottom-left. Photo Credit: NASA

Over the past five decades, more than 500 people have voyaged beyond […]

'We Had a Bet...and I Lost': 15 Years Since STS-111's Repairmen Visited the Space Station (Part 1)

Although he had six previous shuttle missions to his credit, Franklin Chang-Diaz had yet to make a spacewalk. On STS-111, he made three. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, next week, the second human to launch from Earth as many as seven times began what would be his final space mission. Costa Rica-born U.S. […]

In Dire Peril: 55 Years Since the Troubled Mission of Aurora 7 (Part 2)

Chrysler artist Cece Bibby chats with Scott Carpenter, after stencilling the name “Aurora 7” onto his spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, this week, Scott Carpenter became America’s second man in orbit. Aboard Mercury-Atlas (MA)-7—a spacecraft which he had dubbed “Aurora 7”—the astronaut was tasked with the most comprehensive program of scientific research […]