Governmental Aerospace ProgramsThe Federal Aviation Administration, air mail, space programs and military aviation
“The Battle of Midway was probably the most important battle in the Pacific war during World War II,” says Russell Lee, a curator in the aeronautics division at the National Air and Space Museum. “On that day, American carrier forces defeated the Japanese, and stopped permanently their westward expansion.” Prior to the battle, Japan possessed [...]
July 14, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
“How does it feel to be part of history?” some reporter asked the STS-135 astronauts during an onboard press conference this afternoon. Well, some days probably feel more historic than others. Yesterday, for example, space station astronaut Ron Garan was on a spacewalk (above), wrestling a refrigerator-size piece of hardware into the shuttle cargo bay [...]
July 13, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
A few observations about the STS-135 shuttle astronauts, the last people to fly the 30-year-old spaceplane into orbit. By accident or design, the crew comes from a mixed military background, with one each from the Navy (commander Chris Ferguson), Marines (pilot Doug Hurley), and Air Force (mission specialist Rex Walheim). The other MS, Sandy Magnus, [...]
July 09, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
The space shuttle’s final liftoff. Still hard to write those words.
July 08, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Astronauts show a lighter side in their unofficial crew posters.
July 08, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Highlights from America's longest-lived space program.
July 08, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
One thing that’s sure to rise at Cape Canaveral over the next 24 hours—beside space shuttle Atlantis, which is due to lift off on Friday morning if the weather cooperates—is the price of a ticket to view the launch. Up to a million pairs of eyes are predicted to be on hand for the shuttle’s [...]
July 07, 2011 | By Roger Mola
In a new autobiography, an Apollo 15 pilot tells what it was like to fly solo.
July 2011 | By Al Worden With Francis French
Military aviation prepares for the inevitable.
July 2011 | By Michael Milstein
After four years of spiraling out from Earth, the Dawn spacecraft closes in on its first target.
July 2011 | By Tom Jones
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
NASA's 12th Administrator talks about commercial space, flying fast, and the shuttle's legacy.
July 2011 | By Linda Shiner
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
“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
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
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