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 […]

To Live Like Russians: Remembering America’s Long Mission to Mir, 25 Years On (Part 1)

Norm Thagard and Bonnie Dunbar participate in Soyuz-TM training in October 1994. Photo Credit: NASA

In March 2020, it seems inconceivable to think of U.S. astronauts being totally unaccustomed to long-duration spaceflight. Over the past quarter-century, no fewer than 67 Americans—from civilian medical doctors to biochemists and engineers to physicists, and from Army and […]

We Will Shake Your Hand: 25 Years Since STS-63’s Near-Mir Mission (Part 2)

Valeri Polyakov, pictured at Mir’s windows during the STS-63 shuttle rendezvous mission in February 1995, is the incumbent record-holder for the longest single spaceflight. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Last week, U.S. astronaut Christina Koch returned safely to Earth, wrapping up the longest single space mission ever accomplished by a woman; an astonishing […]

'Those Things Don't Happen By Accident': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 1)

STS-76 was the fourth shuttle mission to rendezvous, and the third to dock, with Russia’s Mir space station. It also marked the first shuttle mission to deliver a long-duration crew member and return to Earth with a smaller crew than that with which it launched. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years […]

Astronauts Shannon Lucid and Jerry Ross to Be Honored With Hall of Fame Induction

Astronauts Jerry Ross and Dr. Shannon Lucid will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 3. Image Credit: The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation website

A Shuttle-Mir veteran and a spacewalking virtuoso will join the ranks of other spaceflight legends on the afternoon of Saturday, May 3, at the Kennedy Space […]

Opinion: At Long Last, Is the International Space Station Worth It?

The International Space Station is a sprawling complex the size of a football field. However, after decades of designs, redesigns, and being placed in a less-than-optimal orbit, is the complex worth the $100 billion price tag? Image Credit: NASA

For a long time, it looked as if it would never happen: the Reagan-era […]

What Do Mir's Solar Arrays Predict for ISS Arrays? Part 2: The Mir Cooperative Solar Array

Space Station Mir seen from the aft. The MCSA is titled in the image. Image Credit: NASA

The Mir Solar Array Return Experiment was not the only U.S. effort to test technology for the then-upcoming International Space Station; the U.S. also contributed to a new solar array to feed the ever power-hungry Mir.

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“A Job? But You’re A Girl!”: The Triumphant Career of Shannon Lucid

World record holder Lucid watches the growth of plants in a Russian greenhouse aboard Mir. This photograph was taken in September 1996, shortly after the crew of STS-79 – including Lucid's replacement, John Blaha – arrived to bring her home. Photo Credit: NASA

This week’s retirement of Shannon Lucid – one of the […]