Don Peterson, First Shuttle Spacewalker, Dies Aged 84

 

Don Peterson (right) eats and confers with Commander Paul “P.J.” Weitz during STS-6. Weitz died last year. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Veteran astronaut Don Peterson, who flew aboard STS-6, the maiden voyage of orbiter Challenger, performed the first-ever spacewalk from the shuttle airlock and might—had the hands of fate turned differently—have […]

Moonwalker, Skylab Commander and Lunar Artist Alan Bean Dies, Aged 86

At 2013’s Skylab 40th anniversary event, astronaut Alan Bean (with microphone) talks to crewmate Jack Lousma, flanked by fellow astronauts. Photo Credit: Emily Carney

Alan Bean, the fourth man to set foot on the lunar surface—and the second Moonwalker to pass in 2018—has died, aged 86, after suddenly falling ill while on travel in […]

The Right Man: Remembering Gordon Cooper's Day-Long Mercury Mission, 55 Years On

The Atlas booster rises from Pad 14 on 15 May 1963, carrying Gordon Cooper on his day-long Faith 7 mission. His was the longest single U.S. piloted spaceflight at that time. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 14 May 1963, a hotshot pilot lay on his back in a tiny capsule, atop a converted ballistic […]

Sampling the Moon: Remembering the Lost Moonwalks of Apollo 13 (Part 2)

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise participate in lunar surface training in February 1970. Their target was the Moon’s Fra Mauro foothills. Photo Credit: NASA

In an alternate universe, Jim Lovell and Fred Haise should have been the fifth and sixth sons of humanity to have walked the surface of an alien world. In April […]

Sampling the Moon: Remembering the Lost Moonwalks of Apollo 13 (Part 1)

Artist’s concept of Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise exploring Fra Mauro. The Lunar Module (LM) Aquarius is visible in the background. Their lost surface explorations subsequently passed to Apollo 14 crewmen Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell. Image Credit: Teledyne Brown

Had the cruelty of fate not intervened, almost a half-century ago, […]

The Day the Saturn V Almost Failed: 50 Years Since Apollo 6

The all-white Apollo 6 spacecraft rises from Pad 39A on 6 April 1968 for the Saturn V’s second unmanned test-flight. Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout its stellar 13-flight career, between November 1967 and May 1973, the mighty Saturn V—which still retains a place as the largest and most powerful rocket ever to reach operational service—never […]

First to the Moon: Upcoming Documentary Film Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8

Due for release later in 2018, “First to the Moon” traces the lives of the Apollo 8 crew and their remarkable voyage to the Moon. Image Credit: Paul Hildebrandt/FirstMoonMovie.com

“If I have seen further,” the great English scientist Sir Isaac Newton once remarked, writing about the Dutch philosopher and physicist René Descartes, “it is […]

Means and the Muscle: Where Does Falcon Heavy Stand Alongside the Heavylifters?

Last week’s launch of the maiden Falcon Heavy has opened a niche in the market for super-heavylift launch vehicles. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

“If you can hear me over the cheering,” intoned SpaceX’s John Insprucker in the seconds after 3:45 p.m. EST Tuesday, 6 February, “Falcon Heavy, heading to space on her test-flight. Building […]

Long-Awaited Maiden Voyage of Falcon Heavy Brings Deep-Space Exploration Closer

Pounding the ground with 5.4 million pounds (2.4 million kg) of thrust, the Falcon Heavy begins its maiden voyage of exploration. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

Riding the plumes of its 27 engines, and carrying the hopes and dreams of a generation, the most powerful rocket in the world took flight earlier today (Tuesday, 6 […]

'Fire in the Hole': 50 Years Since Apollo 5, First Lunar Module Test-Flight

An unusual sight greeted Cape Kennedy spectators at sunset on 22 January 1968, as the “stubby” Saturn IB, bearing only Lunar Module (LM)-1, rose to orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

By a strange quirk of fate, NASA’s Apollo 5 mission—which launched 50 years ago, this week—used the same booster as should have been ridden by […]