Black History Month: Looking Back, Looking Forward at the Contributions of African-American Astronauts

Charlie Bolden, pictured at the commander’s station on STS-60 in February 1994. This flight, 25 years ago, saw the first joint U.S.-Russian participation in manned space exploration since the Apollo-Soyuz era. Bolden went on to become NASA’s first African-American administrator. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this month, an African-American astronaut commanded one […]

'Lock the Doors': Remembering Columbia's Loss, OTD in 2003

The beauty of Earth was a sight that none of the STS-107 crew ever grew tired. Photographed through Columbia’s overhead flight deck windows, this astonishing vista was captured on 22 January, six days after launch. Photo Credit: NASA

On this day, 1 February, in 2003, the seven-member crew of shuttle Columbia—Commander Rick Husband, […]

'Lock the Doors': Remembering Columbia's Final Mission (Part 2)

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 am EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble…and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was gone and […]

'So Thin and Fragile': Remembering Columbia's Final Mission (Part 1)

The dual-shift nature of STS-107 required the inclusion of sleep stations in Columbia’s middeck. In this image, Red Team members Laurel Clark, Rick Husband and Kalpana Chawla peek out of their bunks. Photo Credit: NASA

When Columbia’s payload bay doors opened at around midday EST on 16 January 2003—a few hours after NASA’s […]

On Challenger's 30th Anniversary, NASA Reflects On its Fallen Heroes

Floral tributes offer a touch of color against the drab gray and black of the Space Mirror Memorial and the day itself. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

For NASA, the fourth and fifth weeks of each year have always carried a somber mood of reflection and resolve, in which the glories of past successes—including […]

'Lock the Doors': Remembering Columbia's Final Return to Earth

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 a.m. EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble … and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was […]

Looking Back: Day of Remembrance Held Marking 10th Anniversary of Columbia Disaster

NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, along with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, held a “Day of Remembrance” to honor those that lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration, on Feb. 1, 2013, the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

CAPE CANAVERAL, […]

'Not in This Lifetime': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 3)

Hundreds of balloons and floral tributes are laid outside the gates of the Johnson Space Center in the days after the tragedy. Photo Credit: NASA

A few seconds after 8:58 a.m. EST on 1 February 2003, the otherwise normal re-entry profile of Columbia—which was already displaying many abnormal characteristics—changed abruptly from a vehicle […]

'Losing the Battle': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 2)

As evidenced by the clock on the main screen at 14:15:05 GMT (9:15:05 a.m. EST), this view of a tense Mission Control was acquired a quarter of an hour after the first sign of trouble … and a minute ahead of Columbia’s expected landing. By now, everyone was aware that all hope was […]

'Probably Waylon Jennings': The Final Minutes of Columbia (Part 1)

Pictured from Columbia’s aft flight deck, this view shows the payload bay and Spacehab research double module. The grey-colored RCC panels lining the leading edges of the wings can clearly be seen, but the Panel 8/9 junction on the left wing (to the right of this image) is out of sight. Investigators would […]