'Dying All Tensed-Up': 30 Years Since the Troubled Secret Mission of STS-27

Atlantis roars to orbit on the morning of 2 December 1988, 30 years ago today. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, at 9:30 a.m. EST on 2 December 1988, Atlantis rocketed into crystal-blue Florida skies to begin the second shuttle mission in the wake of the Challenger tragedy. Two months earlier, her sister Discovery […]

'Beautiful, Beautiful Moment': Ten Years Since Europe's Columbus Lab Arrived at Space Station

Spacewalker Rex Walheim works to outfit the exterior of Europe’s Columbus lab during STS-122, which launched ten years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Ten years ago, this month, Space Shuttle Atlantis sprang from historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, to kickstart the final phase of […]

‘Knight in Shining Armor': 10 Years Since STS-117 Changed the Face of the Space Station (Part 2)

John “Danny” Olivas is just barely visible at center-right, near the deploying Photovoltaic Radiator (PVR) on the S-3/S-4 truss during the first spacewalk of STS-117. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on what would turn out to be the longest mission of her storied career, lasting almost 14 […]

'Just Do It...Again': 10 Years Since STS-117 Changed the Face of the Space Station (Part 1)

Atlantis launches on her longest space mission on 8 June 2007. Photo Credit: NASA

Ten years have now passed since STS-117 literally changed the face of the International Space Station (ISS), delivering and activating a new set of power-producing solar arrays, batteries and radiators. Aboard shuttle Atlantis in June 2007 for what would turn […]

'See the Sunrise?': 20 Years Since STS-84, Mission of the Six Nations (Part 2)

The pressurized modules and solar arrays of Mir, as viewed through the windows of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-84. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, tonight, the Florida sky and much of the eastern seaboard of the United States, was lit up and shaken awake by the rousing launch of Space […]

'We Just Lit Up the Sky': 20 Years Since STS-84, Mission of the Six Nations (Part 1)

Atlantis roars into the night on 15 May 1997, kicking off her sixth visit to Russia’s Mir space station. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Atlantis roared into the night, creating a new dawn across the marshy landscape of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). “We just lit […]

Adding Backbone to the Space Station: 15 Years Since STS-110 (Part 2)

The S-0 truss is maneuvered by Canadarm2 towards its installation position on the U.S. Destiny lab. Photo Credit: NASA

Jerry Ross was already a record-setter before ever launching on his final space mission, STS-110, aboard shuttle Atlantis, on 8 April 2002. For more than three years, he had been the United States’ most experienced […]

Adding Backbone to the Space Station: 15 Years Since STS-110 (Part 1)

Rex Walheim works on the installation of S-0 truss connections during EVA-1. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, on the morning of 8 April 2002, U.S. astronaut Jerry Ross—veteran of seven space missions and seven spacewalks—settled into orbit aboard shuttle Atlantis, having just launched from Earth more times than any other human being. Ross […]

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 […]

'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 […]