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 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 […]

Delta IV Medium Launches into Retirement with 'Magellan' GPS III Satellite for USAF

For the 29th and final time, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Medium booster took flight Thursday, 22 August to deliver the second Block III Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite to Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) for the U.S. Air Force. Photo: Jeff Seibert / AmericaSpace.com

For the 29th and final time, a United […]

ULA Set to Launch Last Single-Stick Delta IV Thursday with 'Magellan' GPS III Satellite

For the final time on Thursday, a “single-stick” ULA Delta IV Medium rocket will roar to space, this time with the GPS III ‘Magellan’ satellite for the U.S. Air Force, ending a career which has delivered a smorgasbord of military, civilian & scientific payloads to space over the course of a spectacular 17-year history. Photo […]

'The Worst Coffee': Remembering Columbia's Return on STS-28, Thirty Years On (Part 2)

Columbia roars to orbit on 8 August 1989, beginning the first flight of her post-Challenger career. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this month, Space Shuttle Columbia returned to flight, following a three-year down time in the aftermath of the Challenger disaster. Aboard STS-28 for a five-day flight were Commander Brewster Shaw, Pilot Dick […]

ULA Lofts AEHF-5 Military Sentinel to Orbit as Rocket Production Ramps Up to 'Record Setting Pace'

A ULA Atlas V ‘551’ rocket lifts off with the latest Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) military communications satellite on 8 August 2019. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace.com

Almost five months since it last flew, United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully closed-out a gap in missions on Thursday, 8 August, when its Atlas V […]

'Off to a Good Start': Remembering Columbia's Return on STS-28, Thirty Years On (Part 1)

Columbia touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 13 August 1989, to wrap up her first mission after the Challenger tragedy. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Dick Richards was five weeks from his first launch into space when the Challenger disaster snatched the opportunity from him. In January 1985, Richards had been named […]

'Because I'm Scared to Death': 25 Years Since the Shortened Mission of STS-44 (Part 2)

Fred Gregory leads the STS-44 crew out of the Operations & Checkout (O&C) Building at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), 25 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this week, what should have been the third-longest space shuttle mission of its time—and the longest Department of Defense […]

'Not a Dysfunctional Family': 25 Years Since the Shortened Mission of STS-44 (Part 1)

The Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite, attached to is Boeing-built Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster, is deployed from Atlantis’ payload bay at the beginning of the STS-44 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century has now elapsed since a space shuttle mission was forced to come home early, having already lost its original commander […]

The Inside Story of How Aviation Week’s Decision to Sit on One Cold War Blockbuster Led to Another

DIA briefings arranged by Gen. “Davy” Jones as part of Aviation Week’s deal not to publish KH-11 details revealed the Soviets had begun development of a space shuttle that ultimately flew only once—unmanned— in November 1988. Credit: Energia

Editor’s note: This month Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, where our U.S. […]