'Our Own Little Spaceship': 15 Years Since the Flag-Bearing Mission of STS-108 (Part 2)

On STS-108, Linda Godwin became the only woman to have spacewalked outside both Mir and the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

At the cusp of nightfall on 5 December 2001, Space Shuttle Endeavour dispelled some of the darkness which had cloaked the world for several months. Less than 12 […]

'Let Freedom Roar': 15 Years Since the Flag-Bearing Mission of STS-108 (Part 1)

As evidenced by these three hats on-console in the Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, STS-108 truly let freedom roar on 5 December 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week—as America and the world reeled from the 9/11 terrorist atrocities—Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on a […]

'Easier to Destroy Than Create': 15 Years Since STS-105 (Part 2)

STS-105 Mission Specialist Dan Barry translates along the U.S. Destiny lab during one of the flight’s two EVAs. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years have now passed since Shuttle Discovery dropped off and picked up crew members at the International Space Station (ISS) and supported a pair of Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) to transition the multi-national […]

'To Train a Mission': 15 Years Since STS-105 (Part 1)

Fifteen years have now passed since STS-105 exchanged crews and supplies at the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this month, 10 astronauts and cosmonauts from the United States and Russia celebrated 1,000 days of orbital operations for the International Space Station (ISS). In August 2001, Shuttle Discovery’s STS-105 astronauts—Commander […]

'The Thing That Was Really Unique': 25 Years Since the Secret Mission of STS-38 (Part 2)

As with her launch and the bulk of her on-orbit operations, Atlantis’ landing was also shrouded in gloom. She became the first orbiter to return to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in more than 5.5 years when she touched down on 20 November 1990. Photo Credit: NASA, via […]

'Most Serious and Significant Work': 25 Years Since the Secret Mission of STS-38 (Part 1)

The STS-38 crew consisted of (from left) Pilot Frank Culbertson, Mission Specialists Carl Meade, Bob Springer and Sam Gemar, and Commander Dick Covey. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, the world stood on the brink of outright conflict in the Middle East, following the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait by the […]

Orbital ATK Delivers Cygnus Service Module to KSC for December Launch to Space Station

From Orbital ATK: ” … We shipped the service module for our Cygnus spacecraft to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for our next ISS cargo resupply mission, scheduled to launch in early December. Today’s OA-4 milestone marks a key step forward as we continue cargo delivery service to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services […]

Only American Not on Earth on 9/11 Shares Experience of the Tragedy From ISS

Former NASA astronaut and Expedition Three Mission Commander Frank L. Culbertson is seen here in the U.S. Laboratory/Destiny on the ISS. Culbertson had a unique perspective on 9/11, as he was the only American not on the planet during the tragic events of that day. Instead, he watched the towers fall from 250 miles […]

'I Wouldn’t Call it Fear': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 2)

The closest the shuttle ever came to a launch at the time of abort was T-1.9 seconds, on 18 August 1994. So close was the shuttle to launch, the on-board General Purpose Computers had already moded to their 102 ascent software configuration at the time of the abort. Photo Credit: NASA

In the pre-dawn […]

'Quiet as a Crypt': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 1)

Close-up view of Discovery’s three main engines—still exhibiting evidence of scorching from their momentary ignition on 26 June 1984—in the wake of the shuttle program’s first RSLS abort. Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout its 30-year career—consciously or unconsciously—the space shuttle was acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous piloted space vehicles ever brought to […]