'Major Malfunction': The Final Launch of Challenger, 28 Years Ago Today

Challenger’s final crew, as they should be remembered: positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity’s reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) are Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) are Mike Smith, Dick […]

Rosetta Observations Spark Debate on Origin of Earth's Water

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 20 November 2014. This mosaic comprises four individual NAVCAM images taken from 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 20 November 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Comets? Asteroids? Or what?

One of the most basic questions driving Astronomy and Space Exploration is: Where did the water […]

'Moderately Complex': The Mission That 51L Should Have Been

Members of the 51L crew during training. From left are Ellison Onizuka, Ron McNair, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik, Christa McAuliffe (seated on table), and backup crew member Barbara Morgan. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-eight years passed on Tuesday since one of the worst and most public disasters ever witnessed in the U.S. human […]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 2)

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

On Mission 61C, launched on this day (12 January) in 1986, Space Shuttle Columbia was making her first orbital flight in over two years. Late in January 1984, a month after returning from her STS-9 […]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 1)

Columbia swoops like a bird of prey into Edwards Air Force Base on 18 January 1986, just 10 days ahead of the Challenger tragedy. Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson would later refer to this mission as “The End of Innocence” … for after Challenger the shuttle program would never be the same again. Photo Credit: […]

T-100 Days to 'Sleeping Beauty' Rosetta's Wake-Up Call

Rosetta and its Philae landing craft will arrive at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Less than 100 days now remain before the craft are due to be revived from their 2.5-year deep-space hibernation. Image Credit: ESA

According to the Brothers Grimm, Sleeping Beauty was condemned to sleep for 100 years, but for the European Space […]