'Stronger Than Required': Remembering Skylab's End, 40 Years On

One of the final views of Skylab in orbit, as seen directly by human eyes, during the departure of the third crew in February 1974. The station, which began its slow descent back to Earth 40 years ago, this summer, was the largest single object ever launched into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years […]

Gold Star for an Admiral: Remembering Astronaut Dave Griggs, 30 Years On

Dave Griggs, pictured during the Space Shuttle program’s first contingency spacewalk in April 1985, lost his life 30 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, America’s Space Shuttle program had risen from the depths of despair—following the calamitous loss of Challenger—to a triumphant return-to-flight and the three surviving orbiters, Columbia, Discovery […]

The Limits of Relaxed: Remembering STS-30, Thirty Years On

The Magellan spacecraft departs the payload bay on STS-30. At just 97 hours, this mission was the shortest flight in Atlantis’ entire career and the second-shortest operational mission in shuttle program history. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, shuttle Atlantis sat patiently primed on Pad 39B at the Kennedy […]

'A Vision of Pure Beauty': Remembering STS-59, 25 Years On (Part 2)

Orbital sunrises and sunsets were among the most spectacular vistas on STS-59. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago this week, the crew of Endeavour on STS-59 demonstrated that the shuttle program was imbued with “Radar Love”, as they operated the first Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) to acquire unprecedented views of the Home Planet from […]

Patron Saint of Astronauts: Remembering STS-59, 25 Years On (Part 1)

The first Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) in Endeavour’s payload bay. Tom Jones flew both the first and second missions of the radar lab. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago this week, the crew of Endeavour on STS-59 demonstrated that the shuttle program was imbued with “Radar Love”, as they operated the first Space Radar […]

'Full Power for Full Science': Remembering STS-119, Ten Years On

The International Space Station (ISS), as it appeared in March 2009, as shuttle Discovery departed at the end of STS-119. The S-6 truss and its two sets of solar array wings are visible at the far right of frame. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Ten years ago, this month, the crew of […]

'Cutting Edge': Remembering STS-62, 25 Years On

Tropical Storm Owen vividly backdrops Columbia’s silhouetted payload bay, aft bulkhead and vertical stabilizer during STS-62. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, five astronauts aboard shuttle Columbia sailed through a mission which their launch announcer had earlier described as “the cutting edge of microgravity research”. STS-62 Commander John […]

'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, […]

'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 […]

'A Vote For Our Future': 20 Years Since Zarya Launched the International Space Station (Part 2)

The Russian-built Zarya module (lower) and U.S.-built Unity node (upper), pictured during assembly operations on STS-88 in December 1998. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 20 November 1998, Russia’s Zarya (“Dawn”) module—the first component of the International Space Station (ISS)—was launched from Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, atop a […]