Flying MachinesVehicles designed for air and space flight
Explore Air & Space articles about types of air and spacecraft.
November 2009 | By George C. Larson, member, NAA
November 2009 | By Ken Scott
In the 1950s Harvey Allen solved the problem of atmospheric entry. But first he had to convince his colleagues.
November 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin
When a Staggerwing casts its spell, it can surprise even Olive Ann Beech.
November 2009 | By James Wynbrandt
Blinding us with science: the next generation of stealth.
November 2009 | By Damond Benningfield
Lockheed P-38 Lightnings brought many a pilot home. This pilot would like to return the favor.
November 2009 | By David F. Toomey
November 2009 | By J.R. Dailey
The science team of the Japanese Kaguya mission have just published a paper claiming to have found an opening to a cave on the Moon. Such a discovery is a potentially important development for future lunar habitation. Lava tubes are large caves created during the volcanic eruption of a very fluid...
October 27, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The Near-Earth Object office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports on an October 8 fireball over Indonesia, with a link (below) to a local TV news story.Fireballs are dramatic, but not as rare as you'd think. An object this size (about 10 meters in diameter) comes along every few years, on av...
October 26, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
They may well be. But don't look for them anytime soon.
October 26, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. – Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.In his famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn described two t...
October 23, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
On this day in 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin made the first high-altitude jump using a parachute, over Parc Monceau in Paris. Garnerin's contraption—a basket suspended from a silk parachute—was cut loose from a balloon at an altitude of 2,000 feet. An eyewitness recalled:
He made a dreadful lurch i...
October 22, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
There's no shortage of meteorites that have slammed into our planet since its creation. The vast majority of the craters they've left have eroded away or slowly sunk into the Earth through the process of subduction. Still, the Earth Impact Database, the list of confirmed impact craters, maintained ...
October 20, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
While scientists on the LCROSS mission puzzle over why none of the world's telescopes apparently saw squat during last week's much-ballyhooed lunar impact (although it now appears the spacecraft did), here's a happier story.The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recently took this lonely photo of the Sur...
October 16, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Friendly warning: Do not be in the moon's Cabeus Crater tomorrow morning. At 7:31 eastern time, a giant, two-and-a-half ton empty rocket stage will come crashing down from the sky at 1.5 miles a second. Four minutes later, another, smaller spacecraft will hit near the same spot. What the...? Ahh, i...
October 08, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Water is an extremely useful substance in space. The recent finding of water on the Moon has generated considerable comment in the space community; a quick search on Google using the phrase “lunar water” returns over 7.66 million hits. Lunar water’s significance lies not in its role as a medium f...
October 04, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
For an air racing legend named Rare Bear, yes.
September 29, 2009 | By Diane Tedeschi
What was hot—and what was not—at the 2009 National Championship Air Races.
September 28, 2009 | By Linda Shiner
The extreme dryness of the Moon is established scientific dogma. The study of Apollo rock and soil samples pretty much had convinced scientists that the Moon has no water. Because its surface is in a vacuum and experiences extreme temperature swings at the equator (from -150° to 100° C), the Moon ...
September 25, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
It's the biggest open secret in the space community: the Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt will not be leaving for the Red Planet this year, as scheduled, and will have to wait for 2011 when the orbits of Earth and Mars synch up again.The Russian space agency Roscosmos, which is responsible for the e...
September 24, 2009 | By Mike Klesius