'Lighting Up the Nighttime Sky': 10 Years Since STS-116 Brought Power to the Space Station (Part 1)

In addition to delivering the P-5 truss segment (visible at the far-right side of the P-4 arrays), the STS-116 crew retracted the port-side array of the P-6 segment. This produced an asymmetric configuration when Discovery departed the space station. Image Credit: NASA

Ten years ago, this month, Space Shuttle Discovery thundered into orbit […]

Record-Breaker for Women Astronauts: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 2)

For the first time on STS-79, a shuttle crew saw Mir in its complete configuration, with six research and habitation modules. It had been Shannon Lucid’s home for six months and would be John Blaha’s home for the next four. Photo Credit: NASA

A glass half-full, or half-empty, was Bill Readdy’s perspective on […]

Changing the Guard: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 1)

World record holder Shannon 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

Twenty years ago, this month, an American national record-breaker circled high […]

'About People Living in Space': 15 Years Since STS-106 (Part 2)

Impressive view of Atlantis and part of the International Space Station (ISS), captured during the STS-106 mission, 15 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Amid cloudy conditions, only days after the departure of Hurricane Debby and having sustained a pre-launch strike on the Lightning Protection System at Pad 39B, NASA’s 99th space […]

'Six Months, Instead of Twelve': 15 Years Since STS-106 (Part 1)

The Zvezda (upper) and Zarya (lower) modules provided the critical cornerstone for early International Space Station (ISS) operations. Fifteen years ago, this week, STS-106 resumed work on the stalled construction effort. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, a space shuttle flight which very nearly didn’t happen, happened. In early 2000, the […]

Veteran Shuttle Pilot and Adventurer Bill Oefelein Turns 50 Today

Bill Oefelein was one of the first members of his astronaut class to venture into space and the first Alaskan to reach orbit. He turns 50 today. Photo Credit: NASA

Although he forged an unfortunate place in popular culture and gained intense media attention in early 2007 as part of a bizarre “love […]

'The Most Complex So Far': What 2003 Might Have Been

Columbia roars into orbit for the 28th and final time on 16 January 2003. Eighty-two seconds into the ascent, a chunk of foam from her External Tank would spell disaster for the outcome of STS-107. Photo Credit: NASA

Twelve years ago, last weekend, Shuttle Columbia and the crew of STS-107—Commander Rick Husband, Pilot […]

'Dramatic, Down-the-Throat View': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 2)

The vast plume of Klyuchevskaya Sopka, in Kamchatka, which erupted shortly after STS-68 reached orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 30 September 1994, the crew of Shuttle Endeavour rocketed into orbit—six weeks later than originally planned—on an 11-day mission to support the second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). As described in yesterday’s […]

'Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 1)

For the second time in less than six months, the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) rode Endeavour into orbit in September-October 1994. However, the launch of STS-68 was delayed extensively, following the shuttle program’s last Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort. Photo Credit: NASA

One day in the summer of 1993, astronaut Tom Jones […]

'I Wouldn’t Call it Fear': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 2)

The closest the shuttle ever came to a launch at the time of abort was T-1.9 seconds, on 18 August 1994. So close was the shuttle to launch, the on-board General Purpose Computers had already moded to their 102 ascent software configuration at the time of the abort. Photo Credit: NASA

In the […]