Pad 39A, America's Moonport, Celebrates Over 100 Launches in 50 Years of Service

The launch of Apollo 11 on 16 July 1969 was arguably Pad 39A’s finest hour. Photo Credit: NASA

In a strange twist of irony, Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida was not originally meant to be named “39A” at all. Having supported its first launch, 50 years ago, last week, […]

'As Exciting As It Gets': Remembering John Glenn's Return to Space

On 29 October 1998, at the age of 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, today, John Glenn—who had found fame as the first American to orbit the Earth—became the oldest human being ever to break […]

Paul Weitz, Skylab Savior and First Challenger Commander, Dies Aged 85

Paul Weitz, pictured at Skylab’s Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM), during his 28-day mission in May-June 1973. Photo Credit: NASA

Veteran astronaut Paul “P.J.” Weitz, who spacewalked to save America’s Skylab space station and later commanded shuttle Challenger on its maiden voyage, died yesterday (Monday, 23 October). He was 85. During a NASA career which […]

Speed and Power: Remembering Columbia's STS-52 Launch, 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, STS-52 launched on a truly international mission, with U.S., European and Canadian participation. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

“A very long six seconds,” said STS-52 Commander Jim Wetherbee, of his final moments on Earth, “because by now, your brain’s working overtime!” A quarter-century ago, today, on 22 October 1992, Wetherbee […]

Handover Complete? 10 Years Since Whitson Became First Female Space Station Commander

Commander Peggy Whitson (back right) affixes her crew’s Expedition 16 patch to a surface aboard the International Space Station (ISS), as outgoing Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin (back left) looks on. Photo Credit: NASA

The event was almost an anticlimax. On 19 October 2007, ten years ago today, Peggy Whitson became the first woman […]

'Sitting On A Controlled Explosion': 25 Years Since the Space Shuttle's Half-Century Mission

 

Endeavour roars aloft, 25 years ago, this week, for the Space Shuttle’s 50th flight. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Endeavour—the youngest member of NASA’s fleet of orbiter vehicles, built to replace the ill-fated Challenger—rocketed away from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, on a […]

Whitson Sets Endurance, EVA Records for Women, Wraps Up Ten-Month Space Station Expedition

Wrapping up the third long-duration mission of her career, Peggy Whitson has now spent over 665 days of her life away from Planet Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

The world’s most experienced female space traveler is tonight enjoying her first full day back on Earth, after returning from a third trip to the International Space […]

Bresnik Becomes First Marine Corps Officer to Command Space Station

Five weeks into his second space mission, Randy Bresnik today became the first U.S. Marine Corps officer to command the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: Randy Bresnik/NASA/Twitter

You might be forgiven for wondering why the Marine Corps Hymn was piped into the cabin of the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft on the launch pad at […]

Launching in the Rain: The Delays and Ascent of Mission 51I

On the cusp of daybreak, Mission 51I spreads its wings on 27 August 1985, kicking off one of the most dramatic Shuttle flights in history. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-two years ago, today, Space Shuttle Discovery roared into the pre-dawn darkness from historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), on an ambitious mission […]

NASA Space Communications Operations to Extend Through 2030, With Friday Launch of TDRS-M

Originally scheduled to launch on 3 August, NASA’s next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) will now launch on 18 August, atop an Atlas V 401 booster. Photo: AmericaSpace / Jeff Seibert

More than 30 years since its maiden launch—and having enabled near-continuous communications traffic between dozens of Space Shuttle and International Space Station […]