'Copy and Concur': 20 Years Since Shuttle Columbia's Heads-Up Ride to Space

Columbia launches on STS-87, 20 years ago today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago today, on 19 November 1997, a shuttle mission with a difference rose from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It was the first flight from the 39B complex since January, and on STS-87 […]

'Lock the Doors': Remembering Columbia's Final Mission (Part 2)

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 am EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble…and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was gone and contingency […]

'So Thin and Fragile': Remembering Columbia's Final Mission (Part 1)

The dual-shift nature of STS-107 required the inclusion of sleep stations in Columbia’s middeck. In this image, Red Team members Laurel Clark, Rick Husband and Kalpana Chawla peek out of their bunks. Photo Credit: NASA

When Columbia’s payload bay doors opened at around midday EST on 16 January 2003—a few hours after NASA’s oldest […]

On Challenger's 30th Anniversary, NASA Reflects On its Fallen Heroes

Floral tributes offer a touch of color against the drab gray and black of the Space Mirror Memorial and the day itself. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

For NASA, the fourth and fifth weeks of each year have always carried a somber mood of reflection and resolve, in which the glories of past successes—including Voyager […]

'Lock the Doors': Remembering Columbia's Final Return to Earth

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 a.m. EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble … and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was gone […]

Looking Back: Day of Remembrance Held Marking 10th Anniversary of Columbia Disaster

NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, along with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, held a “Day of Remembrance” to honor those that lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration, on Feb. 1, 2013, the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla […]

'Not in This Lifetime': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 3)

Hundreds of balloons and floral tributes are laid outside the gates of the Johnson Space Center in the days after the tragedy. Photo Credit: NASA

A few seconds after 8:58 a.m. EST on 1 February 2003, the otherwise normal re-entry profile of Columbia—which was already displaying many abnormal characteristics—changed abruptly from a vehicle barely […]

'Losing the Battle': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 2)

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 a.m. EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble … and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was gone […]

'Probably Waylon Jennings': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 1)

Pictured from Columbia’s aft flight deck, this view shows the payload bay and Spacehab research double module. The grey-colored RCC panels lining the leading edges of the wings can clearly be seen, but the Panel 8/9 junction on the left wing (to the right of this image) is out of sight. Investigators would later […]

'Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope' to Air on PBS

Image Credit: PBS / Vimeo

It has been a decade since the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 was lost just sixteen minutes from home. The nation, by-and-large, has moved on. A documentary, entitled Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope, has been produced to mark the occasion and to pay special honor […]