Of Frogs and Princes: Remembering Shuttle Mission 51G, OTD in 1985

Thirty-five years ago, today, Discovery launched on an international, multi-faceted mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago today, on 17 June 1985, a spacecraft roared aloft with a crew representing the largest number of nations ever flown into space and carrying the largest load of satellites ever put into space at that time by […]

Woodpecker Attack: Remembering STS-70, 25 Years On

Startling the birds, Discovery spears from Pad 39B on 13 July 1995. Six weeks earlier, the antics of a pesky Northern Flicker woodpecker had caused an extensive launch delay for STS-70 and extensive embarrassment for NASA. Photo Credit: NASA

Over its 30-year career, many things attacked the Space Shuttle, from lawmakers keen to cut […]

A New Vehicle: Remembering Atlantis' STS-101 Mission, 20 Years On

Jim Voss manipulates the Russian-built Strela (“Arrow”) cargo crane during STS-101. Photo Credit: NASA

As the United States readies itself for the launch of an entirely new space vehicle next week—the long-awaited voyage of the Demo-2 Crew Dragon, carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken—today also marks 20 years since a (virtually) brand-new […]

World Mourns Passing of James Beggs, NASA's Tenth Administrator

Jim Beggs, who died last week, was NASA’s tenth administrator. Photo Credit: NASA

It is a sad footnote of history that the man who once described the Hubble Space Telescope as the “eighth wonder of the world” passed away on the eve of its 30th anniversary. As the world observes three decades of Hubble […]

‘What a Beautiful Universe’: Remembering STS-67’s Record-Setting Voyage, 25 Years On

The ASTRO-2 payload, pictured in Endeavour’s payload bay, during the STS-67 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this month, STS-67 set a new record for the longest Space Shuttle mission, an accomplishment which would later be eclipsed by only two other flights in the program’s 30-year history. For more than two weeks in March 1995, three military […]

The Story of the Vanishing Satellite: Remembering Top-Secret STS-36, 30 Years On

Atlantis spears for the heavens at 2:50 a.m. EST on 28 February 1990. Photo Credit: NASA

In many minds, STS-36—a top-secret Department of Defense mission, flown 30 years ago this month—was one of the greatest flights ever undertaken in the three decades of Space Shuttle operations. In his memoir Man On A Mission, astronaut Dave Hilmers recalled […]

By Even A Centimeter: Remembering the Near-Mir Mission, 25 Years On (Part 1)

The Mir space station, as viewed by the crew of STS-63. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago this month, in February 1995, the astronauts (and a single cosmonaut) of shuttle Discovery roared into the night on a mission which performed the first rendezvous with Russia’s Mir space station. During their eight days in space, […]

Remembering Challenger's Lost Innocence, OTD in 1986

A poignant image of a fragment from Challenger’s shattered body, bearing the fallen craft’s name. Photo Credit: NASA

For those of us of a certain age, there can be few more horrific images imprinted upon our long-term memories than the sight of shuttle Challenger exploding in the sky above Cape Canaveral on 28 January […]

Remembering Shuttle Discovery's Miracle Mission 51C, 35 Years On (Part 2)

Discovery touches down at the Kennedy Space Center on 27 January 1985, following the shortest operational flight in the shuttle’s 30-year history. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, this week, the crew of shuttle Discovery—Apollo veteran Ken Mattingly, together with “rookie” astronauts Loren Shriver, Jim Buchli and Ellison Onizuka and Air Force Manned Spaceflight […]

Remembering Shuttle Discovery's Miracle Mission, 35 Years On (Part 1)

Thirty-five years ago, this week, Discovery flew Mission 51C, the shuttle’s first totally classified mission. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term often applied to many aspects of the space program: from Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight aboard Vostok 1 to the historic first manned lunar landing and from the triumph of Apollo 13 to […]