'Second-Class Endeavor': Remembering Project Viking, First Fully Successful Mars Landing Mission (Part 1)

Panoramic view of the terrain in Chryse Planitia at the Viking 1 landing site. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Heading into the homestretch of the 21st century’s second decade, we have grown accustomed to a steady output of scientific data and imagery from our robotic emissaries in orbit and upon the surface of Mars. Spacecraft from […]

'Safing In Work': Remembering Discovery's Almost-Liftoff, On This Day a Quarter-Century Ago

After a month-long wait for launch, following a harrowing pad abort on 12 August 1993, STS-51 thunders into space on 12 September. Photo Credit: NASA

“T-minus 30 seconds…”

The words of launch commentator George Diller at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 9:12 a.m. EDT on 12 August 1993—a quarter-century ago, this […]

Parker Solar Probe: The Science of 'Touching the Sun'

In only a few days, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be launched to “Touch the Sun.” Image Credit: NASA

With the upcoming launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) scientists are about to reach out and “touch the Sun” for the first time ever. The probe will fly through the incredibly hostile atmosphere of […]

'Kind of Unique': Remembering Apollo's Deep-Space EVAs

Al Worden clambers across the exterior of Apollo 15’s service module during the first deep-space Extravehicular Activity (EVA), on this day in 1971. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

On this day in 1971, a fully-suited astronaut poked his helmeted head out of the side hatch of the Command and Service Module (CSM), named […]

'Limits to Inhibit': Remembering Challenger's Dramatic 51F Launch, On This Day in 1985

After one false start, Challenger roars into orbit on 29 July 1985, to begin the Spacelab-2 science mission. It would be one of the most dramatic near-misses in the 30-year shuttle program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

More than three decades ago, one of the most complex Space Shuttle science missions ever undertaken […]

TESS Begins Hunt for Other Earths, Opening New Chapter in Exoplanet Research

Artist’s illustration of TESS is space. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The next big chapter in exoplanet research has begun – NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has started its science observations. This is exciting since TESS will be searching for rocky, Earth-like and potentially habitable planets orbiting nearby stars. TESS is […]

'Whatever Was Needed': Remembering the Hair-Raising Rise to Orbit of STS-93

After two false starts, Columbia rises to orbit at 1:21 a.m. EDT on 23 July 1999. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost two decades ago, on 23 July 1999, the first woman ever to lead a space mission was launched aboard shuttle Columbia to deliver NASA’s $1.5 billion Chandra X-ray Observatory into a highly elliptical orbit. […]

Mapping New Worlds: Researchers Release First Global Maps of Pluto and Charon

A perspective view of the tallest mountains on Pluto – Tenzing Montes, along the western margins of Sputnik Planitia. They reach 3-6 kilometers high. Image Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute/Paul Schenk

When New Horizons sped past Pluto and its moons in July 2015, it revealed some incredible new worlds to explore. They are no […]

Kepler Enters Hibernation Mode, Downlinks Latest Science Data Before Fuel Runs Out

Artist’s conception of the Kepler Space Telescope in space. Fuel is now running very low and the spacecraft has downlinked its latest science data to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/AP

The end is nigh – that appears to be the case at least for NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope which is now running very low on […]

Summer of the Shuttle: Remembering the Ill-Fated Summer of '84

An ominous cloud of smoke billows away from Pad 39A in the seconds after a problematic Main Engine Start on 26 June 1984. Photo Credit: NASA

More than 30 summers ago, America’s shuttle program should have entered its prime. Touted for over a decade as capable of flying regularly and routinely, the early summer […]