'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 […]

'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 […]

A Flight of Changes: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 2)

Upon touchdown on 7 December 1996, Columbia and her STS-80 crew set an empirical record for the longest single mission of the Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

When the crew of STS-80—launched 20 years ago, this week—were assigned to their mission in January 1996, theirs was expected to be […]

Three-Spacecraft Ballet: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 1)

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, today, on 19 November 1996, the longest space shuttle mission in history got underway with the spectacular liftoff of Columbia from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. During […]

America's 'Destiny': 15 Years Since the Launch of the US Lab (Part 2)

The Destiny laboratory is maneuvered toward its final location at the forward port of the Unity node in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A decade and a half ago, yesterday, on 20 February 2001, the crew of Atlantis glided a textbook landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., wrapping up […]

America's 'Destiny': 15 Years Since the Launch of the US Lab (Part 1)

Fifteen years ago, this month, Atlantis became the first member of the space shuttle fleet to complete a third visit to the International Space Station (ISS). Her legacy on STS-98 was to install the heart of the U.S. Orbital Segment (USOS). Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, today, on 20 February 2001, Space […]

'Man of Destiny': Astronaut Tom Jones Turns 60 Today

Tom Jones waves during his first career EVAs on STS-98, the mission which installed the U.S. Destiny laboratory onto the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tom Jones—a man who did, then didn’t, and then did again, embark on the hundredth spacewalk in U.S. history—turns 60 today (Thursday, […]

'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 […]