Space ProgramsNASA, Soviet and Russian space programs and the International Space Station
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
After four years of spiraling out from Earth, the Dawn spacecraft closes in on its first target.
July 2011 | By Tom Jones
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
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
This video of Endeavour‘s picture-perfect landing at 2:35 a.m. today offers a little surprise, even for some veteran shuttle watchers. Can you guess what we’re referring to? If you guessed the flickering light at the base of the vertical tail, you’re spot on. And if you stuck with the video to the 1:20 mark, the [...]
June 01, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
Landing a shuttle while re-adapting to gravity can be disorienting. Now there's a way to simulate it on the ground.
May 31, 2011 | By Mark Betancourt
Since 1963, hundreds of artists (and musicians, poets—even one fashion designer) have interpreted NASA’s aeronautic and space projects. The artists were given carte blanche to create what they wanted, in any medium, on any subject. In celebration of NASA’s 50th anniversary in 2008, more than 70 diverse artworks from the program began touring the country [...]
May 27, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
A few random thoughts on Day 11 of Endeavour‘s last flight: Tomorrow STS-134 astronaut Mike Fincke will become the U.S. record holder for time spent in space, eclipsing chief astronaut Peggy Whitson’s 377-day mark. Not bad for a guy who once washed out of Air Force fighter pilot training. “My arms weren’t golden enough to [...]
May 26, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s special address to Congress – a request for supplemental appropriation for a variety of projects but most famously remembered for the announcement of his Man-Moon-Decade goal of Project Apollo. That event, cited by space advocates and excerpted in space and history documentaries, is remembered as [...]
May 24, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
In this time of endings for the space shuttle, there are still a few firsts left. On Saturday morning, Pope Benedict XVI made the first ever papal “visit” (via video link) to astronauts in orbit. In many ways it was an extraordinary conversation, ranging from the future of space exploration to condolences (to Paolo Nespoli [...]
May 23, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
With just one space shuttle flight left to go, every milestone on the current STS-134 mission is poignant for the astronauts and other folks who work on the program, and for those of us who’ve been watching them for a long time. Here’s a scene we’ll see only once more: A shuttle full of astronauts [...]
May 19, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
A perennial hand-wringing topic among policy geeks is America’s decline in math and science proficiency. This sentiment has been expressed the entire 30 years I’ve worked on space science and exploration – new generations don’t care about space, can’t do math and science, can’t think properly and ...
May 14, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
A post-splashdown scandal did not undermine the mission’s scientific achievements.
May 13, 2011 | By Diane Tedeschi
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