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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Expedition 50 Spacewalkers Prepare Space Station for PMA-3 Relocation

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough (right) was making his fifth career EVA, whilst Thomas Pesquet became only the second Frenchman to complete a repeat spacewalk. Photo Credit: NASA

For the 40th time in a little more than 15 years, spacewalkers in U.S.-built Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs)—and without the presence of the Space Shuttle—departed the […]