Flying MachinesVehicles designed for air and space flight
Explore Air & Space articles about types of air and spacecraft.
During a carefully staged appearance at Kennedy Space Center yesterday, President Barack Obama rolled out his plans for the U. S. space program. Although there weren’t many surprises (the White House Office of Science and Technology, under the direction of John P. Holdren, had released a fact shee...
April 16, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
“Well I can’t say that this thing hasn’t been filled with excitement,” said astronaut Jim Lovell as Apollo 13's crew crowded into the Command Module Odyssey—following the explosion of an onboard tank in the Service Module—and headed back to Earth. CapCom immediately joked, "Well, James, if you can'...
April 15, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
A recent talking points memo by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seeks to clarify some aspects of the new direction in regards to the cancelled Project Constellation. Touted by some as “compromise,” it asserts that NASA will develop and build a new “Orion lite” crew vehicle whose...
April 14, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
As we survey the wreckage and ruin of yet another NASA “return to the Moon” program, the inevitable “what went wrong?” arguments play out. We’re in a much different place today than we were when Apollo 11 reached the Moon (and each year there are fewer of us alive who witnessed it). To some of us...
April 02, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
The report of the Augustine committee analyzes America’s space program through a very narrow prism. Much of their report argues that the existing program of record (more specifically, the Ares I and V launch system) is not affordable, a fact already apparent to most observers. Thus, the committee...
March 24, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
Avatar’s creator hopes to direct the first movies shot on Mars.
March 23, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Scientists studying photos from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have identified the relic Soviet Lunokhod rovers that touched down on the moon in the 1970s. Read the report here.Planetary scientists at the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow have also been playing with the LRO images. Be sure to cl...
March 18, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Crashing test dummies into walls must not be enough fun for some people, so the engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center have upped the ante. These stoic mannequins were strapped inside an MD-500 helicopter last week and dropped from a height of 35 feet to test whether a honeycomb cushion shock ...
March 17, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
NASA's first Flight Director assesses the state of the space program 40 years after Apollo.
March 2010 | By Michael Klesius
Some airplanes, like some friendships, improve with age.
March 2010 | By Linda Shiner
Scenes of a Marine unit flying the incredible, versatile Osprey.
March 15, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
Bernard Pietenpol’s happiest moments came when he was flying one of his homebuilt airplanes—with a child or two in tow.
March 15, 2010 | By Diane Tedeschi
Last fall, after much anticipation, the Augustine Committee presented us with their assessment of the future of space exploration. Its basic conclusion was that at currently envisioned budgets, the Program of Record (a.k.a. ESAS, Project Constellation) would not get us back to the Moon before many...
March 11, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
Given all the angst recently about NASA astronauts needing a new destination, it's good to step back and review the options. There aren't many. There's the moon, of course, and Mars. A near-Earth asteroid. And one more possibility, often forgotten—the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos.Tomorrow at 3:5...
March 02, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Last year, India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter spent eight months mapping the surface of the Moon. I had the honor of being the Principal Investigator of an experiment on that mission, the Mini-SAR imaging radar. The purpose of this experiment is to map and characterize the deposits within perman...
March 01, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
March 2010 | By Norvin C. Evans
Three orbiters in search of good homes. Not cheap.
March 2010 | By Guy Gugliotta
For the scientists and engineers who drive the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, Mars exploration is personal.
March 2010 | By Michael Klesius
One of the most versatile aircraft of the Vietnam War appears on the verge of a comeback.
March 2010 | By William E. Burrows
Would a fighter pilot shoot down a private airplane?
March 2010 | By Craig Mellow