Governmental Aerospace ProgramsThe Federal Aviation Administration, air mail, space programs and military aviation
The shuttle has retired, but the astronauts haven’t.
July 26, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
The space shuttle has been well eulogized in recent weeks, and we’ve already said our own farewells in print and on the web. So no need for another Grand Tribute. Still….I can’t resist a couple of parting thoughts on this final day of the 30-year shuttle program. The safety of the shuttle can be debated, [...]
July 21, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
I learn something new about the astronaut business on every mission. During their spacewalk last week, space station residents Mike Fossum and Ron Garan did some whistling while they were inside the Quest airlock in their spacesuits, waiting for the pressure to drop before heading outside. I’ve queued this video up to the whistling sequence, [...]
July 20, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Today is the 42nd anniversary of man’s landing on the Moon. The first step on the Moon – the step that “divided history” to use the words of the time – and the planting of the American flag there seems like a lifetime ago. As a matter of fact, it was. Tomorrow, the Space Shuttle [...]
July 19, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
“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