Space ProgramsNASA, Soviet and Russian space programs and the International Space Station
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
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
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
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