We Have Capture: Remembering STS-71 and Shuttle-Mir, 25 Years On

Twenty-five years ago, an enduring period of co-operation between the United States and Russia began with the first shuttle-Mir docking mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this summer, six U.S. astronauts and four Russian cosmonauts circled the Earth together in a remarkable exercise of co-operation between two former superpowers and ideological foes. In […]

Of Frogs and Princes: Remembering Shuttle Mission 51G, OTD in 1985

Thirty-five years ago, today, Discovery launched on an international, multi-faceted mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago today, on 17 June 1985, a spacecraft roared aloft with a crew representing the largest number of nations ever flown into space and carrying the largest load of satellites ever put into space at that time by […]

Woodpecker Attack: Remembering STS-70, 25 Years On

Startling the birds, Discovery spears from Pad 39B on 13 July 1995. Six weeks earlier, the antics of a pesky Northern Flicker woodpecker had caused an extensive launch delay for STS-70 and extensive embarrassment for NASA. Photo Credit: NASA

Over its 30-year career, many things attacked the Space Shuttle, from lawmakers keen to cut […]

To Live With Russians: Remembering America’s Long Mission to Mir, 25 Years On (Part 2)

U.S. astronaut Norm Thagard sleeps aboard Mir, during his lengthy voyage. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this month, the first U.S. astronaut in history was launched aboard a non-U.S. spacecraft, atop a non-U.S. rocket, from a non-U.S. nation, with a crew entirely composed of non-U.S. comrades. Four-time Space Shuttle flyer Dr. Norm Thagard had spent […]

The Story of the Vanishing Satellite: Remembering Top-Secret STS-36, 30 Years On

Atlantis spears for the heavens at 2:50 a.m. EST on 28 February 1990. Photo Credit: NASA

In many minds, STS-36—a top-secret Department of Defense mission, flown 30 years ago this month—was one of the greatest flights ever undertaken in the three decades of Space Shuttle operations. In his memoir Man On A Mission, astronaut Dave Hilmers recalled […]

Remembering Challenger's Lost Innocence, OTD in 1986

A poignant image of a fragment from Challenger’s shattered body, bearing the fallen craft’s name. Photo Credit: NASA

For those of us of a certain age, there can be few more horrific images imprinted upon our long-term memories than the sight of shuttle Challenger exploding in the sky above Cape Canaveral on 28 January […]

Remembering Shuttle Discovery's Miracle Mission 51C, 35 Years On (Part 2)

Discovery touches down at the Kennedy Space Center on 27 January 1985, following the shortest operational flight in the shuttle’s 30-year history. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, this week, the crew of shuttle Discovery—Apollo veteran Ken Mattingly, together with “rookie” astronauts Loren Shriver, Jim Buchli and Ellison Onizuka and Air Force Manned Spaceflight […]

Remembering Shuttle Discovery's Miracle Mission, 35 Years On (Part 1)

Thirty-five years ago, this week, Discovery flew Mission 51C, the shuttle’s first totally classified mission. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term often applied to many aspects of the space program: from Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight aboard Vostok 1 to the historic first manned lunar landing and from the triumph of Apollo 13 to […]

The Real Mission Impossible: Remembering STS-61C's Quest for Space

“Mission Impossible” finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

The opening weeks of each year are always tinged with sadness for America’s space program, as the nation observes a triplet of cruel anniversaries: the 1967 loss of Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed […]

'Down-the-Throat Geology': Remembering the Fall and Rise of STS-68, 25 Years On (Part 2)

Spectacular “down-the-throat” perspective of the Klyuchevskaya Sopka eruption in Kamchatka, which occurred during the STS-68 mission, 25 years ago. Photo Credit: NASA 

Twenty-five years ago, tonight, six astronauts spent their last night on Earth ahead of a scheduled liftoff early the following morning on a complex mission to radar-map the Home Planet in unprecedented detail. The […]