'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 […]

NASA Assigns First Crews For Boeing Starliner & SpaceX Crew Dragon Flights

NASA introduced to the world on Aug. 3, 2018, the first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station – an endeavor that will return astronaut launches to U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011. The agency assigned nine astronauts […]

'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. […]

NASA's First Spacecraft to 'Touch the Sun' Ready For August 6 Launch on Delta IV Heavy

Parker Solar Probe sits in a clean room on July 6, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, after the installation of its heat shield. Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

In a scenario reminiscent of Icarus in Greek mythology, who flew too close to the Sun, with his wings melting as a […]

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 […]