Governmental Aerospace ProgramsThe Federal Aviation Administration, air mail, space programs and military aviation
Who can forget billionaire ex-spaceman Jeff Tracy and his five sons (Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, and John), each named after a Mercury astronaut? Remember how they—through their organization (International Rescue)—um...rescued people...internationally? Ok, so they were puppets. Deal with it, peop...
May 05, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The first American spaceflight was a triumph—for an astronaut and for a nation.
May 05, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan recently voiced his doubts and concerns over the future of the human spaceflight program, while former Lockheed-Martin CEO Norman Augustine reflected on the current state of our space “vision” and/or the possible lack thereof. I found these perspectives by two gia...
May 04, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan thinks the notion of a one-way trip to Mars is "a ridiculous concept...That's not the kind of people we are." And he's hardly alone in that view.Every time the subject of one-way Mars expeditions comes up, it reminds me, in a perverse way, of Ambrose Bierce's great Civi...
May 04, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Late in 2014, a radically different type of rocket propulsion is set to show up on the International Space station for a period of experimentation.The technology is called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). It's a rocket engine that uses electricity to ionize a gas such as...
May 02, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
A remote-piloted warrior starts flying for science.
May 2011 | By Kara Platoni
...And the high-tech horse it rode in on.
May 2011 | By Dino Brugioni
The year we were born.
May 2011 | By Paul Hoversten
Think of it as a crash course in aeronautical trivia.
May 2011 | By The Editors
Fifty years ago, Yuri Gagarin left earth. When he came back, everything changed.
May 2011 | By Allen Abel
Mission: Cuba. Status: Top secret.
May 2011 | By James Storie
When an astronaut's gotta go...
May 2011 | By Jeremy Davis
One of the guiding geniuses behind the Apollo program is the winner of this year's National Air and Space Museum Trophy for lifetime achievement.
May 2011 | By Michael Klesius
On May 5, 2011, Bonhams auction house will hold its annual space history sale. (The date commemorates the 50th anniversary of Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard's suborbital flight in Freedom 7.) Some 250 items are up for grabs, a few coming from the Forbes Collection, others from the personal collect...
April 28, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
It's summer 2005. In Afghanistan, a four-man U.S. Navy SEAL team has been ambushed by the Taliban. A Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter is immediately sent to extract them, but as it approaches the rescue site, the Taliban fire a rocket-propelled grenade, hitting the Chinook's fuel tanks. All 16 crew ...
April 27, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
On March 23, 1944, a British Lancaster bomber over Germany's Ruhr River took heavy flak and exploded. As his oxygen mask and goggles began to melt, and his flight suit burned, tail gunner Nick Alkemade heard the pilot ordering the crew to bail out.The aircraft was at 18,000 feet, and while Alkemade...
April 26, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Each year, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) organize an art contest meant to encourage young people to become familiar with (and participate in) aeronautics, engineering, and science."The quality of the art we see is unbeliev...
April 25, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Admit it: Sometimes you want to skip all the technical hoo-hah and get straight to the jokes. For your enjoyment, today we're resurrecting a bit of aircraft maintenance humor that has been roaming the Internet since 1997, and circulating on hard copies before that. The jokes have been attributed to...
April 21, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
"let us sit upon the ground. And tell sad stories of the death of kings” – Richard II, Act III, Scene 2 The nearly simultaneous 50th anniversary of the beginning of human spaceflight and the forthcoming end of the Space Shuttle program has philosophical members of the chattering classes making the...
April 19, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
What is it about April 12 that makes momentous things happen?Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War, the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch, and the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight.Centuries from now, the last of these may be considered the...
April 12, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt