A Pioneering Spirit: NASA's Katherine Johnson Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

From NASA: “Katherine Johnson sits at her desk with a globe, or ‘Celestial Training Device.’” Johnson’s work as a research mathematician contributed to NASA’s successes from the Mercury to the Shuttle programs, and beyond. Photo Credit: NASA

Decades before astronaut Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman to soar into space, and a […]

Four Space Shuttle Veterans Inducted Into US Astronaut Hall of Fame

Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson (at podium) speaks prior to Dr. Rhea Seddon’s induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 30. From left: Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Chairman Daniel Brandenstein, Kent Rominger, Seddon, Steve Lindsey, John Grunsfeld, Gibson, and CNN’s John Zarrella. Photo Credit: Emily Carney / AmericaSpace

Four space shuttle […]

Space for Everyone: 30 Years Since STS-41G, Progress in Spaceflight Diversity

The crew of STS-41G, 1984: Seated (from left) are Jon McBride, Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, and Dave Leestma, with (from left) Paul Scully-Power, Bob Crippen, and Marc Garneau standing. This mission proved to be a watershed moment in spaceflight diversity in a year of firsts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago yesterday (Oct. […]

'A Woman in the Driver's Seat': Remembering STS-93, First Flight Helmed by a Female Shuttle Commander

The STS-93 crew poses with a model of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This shuttle mission also entered into the history books for having the first female commander (Eileen Collins, here joined by Steven Hawley, Jerry Ashby, Michel Tognini, and Cady Coleman). Photo Credit: NASA

The 2009 book Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared […]

Book Review: 'Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight,' Edited by Michael J. Neufeld

 

The men with “The Right Stuff” – and the famous book about them with the same name – go under the microscope in the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press’ new offering. Photo Credit: NASA.

Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight was released on July 9 by the […]

'On the Edge': The Legacy of Valentina Tereshkova

By the summer of 1963, the Soviets had launched the world’s first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) and its first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova). For an image-conscious Soviet leadership, these achievements were exploited for the political advantages which they afforded. Photo Credit: Roscosmos

It is a quirk of historical coincidence that both […]

'The Common Touch': Selecting the First Woman Cosmonaut

Right from the start, the training of Russia’s first female cosmonauts was as alien as the environment in which one of them would operate. Although all had flying or parachuting experience, the closeted military world of the cosmonaut team came as a huge cultural shock to them. Photo Credit: Roscosmos

Fifty years ago […]