‘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 […]

The Real Mission Impossible: Remembering STS-61C's Quest for Space

“Mission Impossible” finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

The opening weeks of each year are always tinged with sadness for America’s space program, as the nation observes a triplet of cruel anniversaries: the 1967 loss of Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed […]

Power and Speed: Remembering Discovery's Date With Hubble, 20 Years On (Part 1)

Orbital sunrise causes the solar arrays of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to glisten in this spectacular view from STS-103. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, as the world neared the dawn of a new millennium, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) circled the globe in urgent need of servicing and repair. By December 1999, […]

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 […]