Firing Up the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the Last Flight Readiness Firing (Part 2)

Each Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) presented the opportunity to extensively test the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) in as close to real-flight operations. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, on 6 April 1992, the roar of three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) echoed across the marshy landscape of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in […]

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 […]

Whitson Sets Records for Women, Enters Top Five List of Most Seasoned Spacewalkers on Historic EVA-41

Shane Kimbrough (left) and the world’s most experienced female spacewalker Peggy Whitson (right), at work during EVA-41. Photo Credit: NASA/Twitter/Thomas Pesquet

From the moment she transferred her critical life-support utilities from International Space Station (ISS) power to the internal batteries aboard her space suit, it was clear that Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson […]

'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 […]