Firing Up the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the Last Flight Readiness Firing (Part 1)

Before each orbiter’s maiden voyage, the Space Shuttle Program completed a Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) of the three main engines. The last FRF, by Endeavour, occurred 25 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

“T-minus 31 seconds…Endeavour’s four redundant computers have primary control of critical vehicle functions for the remainder of the count…”

Twenty-five […]

'A Mirror-Image Flight': 20 Years Since Columbia's Landing-to-Launch Record (Part 2)

With the reprioritization of mission objectives, the around-the-clock Spacelab operations in the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) changed dramatically. The astronauts even worked by torchlight at times to maintain power levels below critical levels. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit for what should have been an ambitious […]

'Once-In-A-Career Opportunity': 20 Years Since Columbia's Landing-to-Launch Record (Part 1)

After the shortest operational flight in the Space Shuttle Program, Columbia touches down at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on 8 April 1997. Her STS-83 mission had lasted just a few minutes shy of four full days in space. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighty-four days. A mere 12 weeks on Earth, 84 days […]

SpaceX Scores New Record for Pad 39A, Launches & Lands First Reused Falcon-9

The SES-10 satellite hitching a ride to orbit on SpaceX’s first reused Falcon-9, which also landed successfully minutes later on the company’s offshore autonomous drone ship. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

History was made this evening (Thursday, 30 March), when SpaceX successfully launched the first “re-used” rocket stage on a second mission to […]

SpaceX's Third SES Mission Marks Record-Setting Launch Cadence for Historic Pad 39A

 

The first “re-used” Upgraded Falcon 9 first stage undergoes a successful Static Fire Test on Monday, 27 March. Launch of the SES-10 mission is targeted for Thursday evening. Photo Credit: SpaceX/Twitter

SpaceX seeks to set a raft of new records on Thursday, 30 March, as its launch cadence out of historic Pad 39A […]

'One Cardinal Rule': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's Home-Watching Mission (Part 2)

Atlantis lands in Florida at the end of STS-45. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this week, seven individuals from three sovereign nations—five Americans, the first Belgian citizen to enter space and a British-born astronaut—orbited Earth aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. Their STS-45 mission carried a battery of experiments in the payload […]

'From the Most Violent Place': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's Home-Watching Mission (Part 1)

Flown 25 years ago, in March 1992, ATLAS-1 represented the first Space Shuttle payload fully dedicated to exploring the relationship between the Earth’s atmosphere and its interaction with the Sun. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, Space Shuttle Atlantis roared into orbit on a mission intensely focused on Planet Earth; a mission […]

NASA Plans PMA-3 Relocation for Commercial Crew, Three Record-Setting EVAs on Tap

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough will lead U.S. EVAs 40 and 41. Photo Credit: Shane Kimbrough/NASA/Twitter

Three pivotal and record-setting periods of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) are scheduled to occur from the International Space Station (ISS) over the coming weeks, according to a news conference, held at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, […]

Two Weeks After International Women's Day, Peggy Whitson Blazes New Trail for Females in Space

Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet, pictured aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA/Thomas Pesquet/Twitter

At 10:38 p.m. EDT yesterday (Monday), veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson—currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a member of the Expedition 50 crew—secured a new record, as the first woman to log a cumulative 500 days […]

'Just Unreal What It Had Done': 35 Years Since Columbia's Third Orbital Mission (Part 2)

Like a flying brick, Columbia descends towards White Sands on 30 March 1982. This view was acquired from one of the NASA T-38 jets, flying chase that morning. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, in the final week of March 1982, Commander Jack Lousma and Pilot Gordon Fullerton flew Space Shuttle Columbia on her […]