AerospaceThe technology and science of commercial and military air and space flight
Discover Air & Space articles about aerospace science, technology, industry, recreation and government programs.
Flying. The other universal language.
July 2011 | By James Wynbrandt
After four years of spiraling out from Earth, the Dawn spacecraft closes in on its first target.
July 2011 | By Tom Jones
Air travelers, fear not.
July 2011 | By Jack Williams
In this rugged hiding place, outlaws like Osama bin Laden are rarely run to ground. The British learned that lesson in 1939.
July 2011 | By Graham Chandler
Challenging the Helldiver’s bad reputation.
July 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Sikorsky’s X2 is more hot rod than helicopter.
July 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
NASA's 12th Administrator talks about commercial space, flying fast, and the shuttle's legacy.
July 2011 | By Linda Shiner
Wallops Island and I don’t get along. Twice in the last two years I’ve made the long drive from my home in ex-urban Washington D.C., hoping to finally see an orbital launch from this quaint and historic launch site on Virginia’s eastern shore. Twice I’ve come away empty-handed. It happened for the second time Tuesday [...]
June 30, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
By moving forward on their mission to convert the U.S. fleet of Space Shuttles into museum pieces, the administration has shifted NASA into neutral. America’s multi-billion dollar investment in the International Space Station (ISS) and our access to space is in jeopardy. As a result of the termination of the Shuttle program, we have no [...]
June 25, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
The Dawn spacecraft continues to close in on Vesta, one of the last unexplored objects of appreciable size between here and Pluto. Dawn is expected to go into orbit around the asteroid on July 16. This is how Vesta looked in the navigation camera view as of June 20, when Dawn was 117,000 miles away. [...]
June 24, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
“Now is the winter of our discontent” – Richard III, Act 1, scene 1 There is a good piece in today’s Telegraph UK by David Robson of a fateful one-hundredth anniversary – the Midwinter Dinner — June 22, 1911 held in Robert Falcon Scott’s Ross Island hut. A year earlier, Scott and the crew of [...]
June 21, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
“One of the interesting things about airships,” says Tom Crouch, a senior curator at the National Air and Space Museum, who gave a lecture on the subject this week as part of the Museum’s Ask an Expert series, is that they were “transitional technology. They were capable of doing a great many things before airplanes [...]
June 17, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at this video of the Martin Aircraft Company’s recent mile-high test of its personal jetpack and safety parachute system. The flight topped out at 5,000 feet, but could have gone higher. While a dummy was on board for this test, the New Zealand-based company is marketing [...]
June 13, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
We don’t generally give shout-outs to fellow bloggers, but in this case it’s deserved: Paul Spudis, who writes the “Once and Future Moon” blog on this site, recently won the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for finding what may be a way out of the doldrums that currently afflict U.S. space policy. That isn’t [...]
June 10, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
The last time we looked in on the European comet-chaser Rosetta, the spacecraft was still years away from its destination. Well, it’s still years away—three to be precise. And it just went into hibernation. But before going to sleep, Rosetta took this first, very long-distance picture of its target: comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Not much to look [...]
June 08, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Maybe the most amazing thing about this photo is that it took 12 years of docked operations before someone got a picture of the space shuttle attached to the International Space Station. But here it is. Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli captured this view on May 23 from the departing Soyuz spacecraft. Click on the photo [...]
June 07, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
The US Airways Airbus A320 that figured in the January 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” is headed (via highway) from New Jersey to its new home at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The route will take it through Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Follow the airplane’s progress on Facebook or [...]
June 06, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Not a day goes by without some TV news reporter asking an astronaut or NASA official, “How do you feel now that Americans will have to rely on the Russians to get to orbit?” Folks, we’ve been doing that for 16 years. Tomorrow the Soyuz TMA-02M is scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan, bound for [...]
June 06, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
At the recent International Space Development Conference in Huntsville, Augustine committee member and CEO of XCOR Aerospace Jeff Greason gave a talk on the goals of human spaceflight. While he discussed many things that I agree with (in particular, making the use of off-planet resources a high priority), one idea in particular stood out. Greason [...]
June 03, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
We’re still not sure whether to take the folks at Copenhagen Suborbitals seriously in their quest (eventually) to launch people into space. But they plan to test-launch their HEAT-1X rocket from the Baltic Sea tomorrow. The last attempt, in September, was ruined by a liquid oxygen valve failure. Now they’ve regrouped for another try, with [...]
June 02, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt