Gentlemen's Hours: Remembering Atlantis' STS-66 Mission, 25 Years On (Part 1)

Twenty-five years ago, Atlantis returned to flight with the ATLAS-3 mission. It was her final “standalone” mission before the shuttle-Mir and International Space Station (ISS) eras. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, today, the International Space Station (ISS) era began in earnest with the return-to-flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, following a lengthy period of […]

'You Didn't Prepare Me': Remembering America’s Galileo Mission to Jupiter, 30 Years On (Part 2)

Aerial view of Atlantis’ rise to orbit on 18 October 1989, 30 years ago this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, shuttle mission STS-34 and the crew of Atlantis roared aloft from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to deliver NASA’s Galileo spacecraft onto the first leg […]

'Nothing Absurd': Remembering America's Galileo Mission to Jupiter, 30 Years On (Part 1)

Mounted atop its Boeing-built Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), Galileo parts company from Space Shuttle Atlantis on the evening of 18 October 1989. Photo Credit: NASA

When the Galileo spacecraft drifted out of Space Shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay on the evening of 18 October 1989—30 years ago this week—to begin the first leg of its […]

Mission to Earth's Twisted Twin: Remembering the Magellan Voyage to Venus, 25 Years On

The volcano Maat Mons, as viewed by Magellan’s powerful Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The ambitious mission to radar-map Venus came to an end 25 years ago, this month. Image Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this month, a tiny spacecraft ended a remarkable mission which successfully mapped over 90 percent of the surface of Venus […]

'Down-the-Throat Geology': Remembering the Fall and Rise of STS-68, 25 Years On (Part 2)

Spectacular “down-the-throat” perspective of the Klyuchevskaya Sopka eruption in Kamchatka, which occurred during the STS-68 mission, 25 years ago. Photo Credit: NASA 

Twenty-five years ago, tonight, six astronauts spent their last night on Earth ahead of a scheduled liftoff early the following morning on a complex mission to radar-map the Home Planet in unprecedented detail. The […]

'Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby': Remembering the Fall and Rise of STS-68, 25 Years On (Part 1)

The successful launch of STS-68, 25 years ago this week, came six weeks after one of the most harrowing launch aborts in Space Shuttle Program history. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this summer, America’s Space Shuttle Program sprang from a hearts-in-throats launch abort on the cusp of liftoff to triumphantly executing four flawless […]

To Save A Space Station: The Unrealized Rescue of Skylab, 40 Years On

The engines of the Teleoperator Retrieval System (TRS), seen docked to Skylab, perform a lengthy “burn” to either deliver the old space station into a higher, more stable orbit or to prepare it for a controlled, destructive re-entry. Image Credit: NASA

Visiting space stations is, and always has been, a complex and challenging endeavor; […]

EVAs and More on 'Sixty-Four: Remembering STS-64, 25 Years On (Part 2)

Spacewalkers Mark Lee (right) and Carl Meade work above Discovery’s payload bay during STS-64, 25 years ago, this month. Below them is the large telescope of their primary payload, the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) and, just behind it, the gold-colored mass of the SPARTAN solar physics satellite. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, […]

Flying Free With Meade and Lee: Remembering STS-64, 25 Years On (Part 1)

Twenty-five years ago, this month, STS-64 astronauts Mark Lee (pictured here) and Carl Meade performed the first untethered spacewalk with the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER). Photo Credit: NASA

On 123 occasions between March 1965 and September 1994, astronauts and cosmonauts had clambered outside their spacecraft and maneuvered themselves around in the harsh […]

'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 […]