Orbital SpacecraftSatellites, shuttles and space stations
Endeavour lights up the sky—and water—in Florida.
July 2010 | By The Editors
How 30 years changed the world's most complex flying machine.
July 2010 | By Michael Klesius
We had hoped that Japan's IKAROS solar sail would work as advertised, and it did. Here's an animated image of the fully deployed sail, taken by a "separation camera" from a short distance away.In other happenings:
The Hayabusa asteroid sample return capsule came home in spectacular style last wee...
June 17, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
The space shuttle's exhaust trail makes for a lovely sight on an April morning.
May 11, 2010 | By Michael Klesius
Frank Cepollina takes repair calls to new heights.
May 2010 | By Robert Zimmerman
Three orbiters in search of good homes. Not cheap.
March 2010 | By Guy Gugliotta
In the 1950s Harvey Allen solved the problem of atmospheric entry. But first he had to convince his colleagues.
November 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin
For that satellite dish on your roof and the phone calls you make to Japan, you can thank Harold Rosen.
September 2009 | By Guy Gugliotta
September 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
When you’re 200 miles up, it’s easy to hide what you’re up to.
August 2009 | By Michael Cassutt
Armed with their checklists, the Apollo astronauts literally read themselves to the moon.
July 20, 2009 | By Matthew Hersch
It's probably premature to declare SpaceX an established launch company on the basis of yesterday's successful orbiting of Malaysia's Razaksat satellite (see video below). I doubt they'll want to gloat too long, given the technical and financial risks inherent in the rocket business, and the diffic...
July 14, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
It's all about the solar beta angle.
July 14, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
The space shuttle glows in photographs taken by one of its own technicians.
July 13, 2009 | By The Editors
Shuck the spacecraft. 182 spacewalkers have.
July 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
A National Air and Space Museum astronomer picks some of his favorite images from the storied telescope.
May 22, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
In 1982, the year E.T. The Extraterrestrial ruled at the box office, another, less heralded movie about aliens came out—John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, starring Kurt Russell. In the first film, a kind-hearted, magical being appears on Earth, works miracles, then ascends into the heavens with ...
May 18, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The first company with a plan—and a rocket—to send humans to orbit answers the existential question.
May 2009 | By Michael Milstein
Small satellites used to be all the rage. Now, to be really cutting edge, they have to be fast, too, as in fast to build, test, and launch."Operationally responsive" is military-speak for fast: Field commanders want spacecraft that can return images and other data quickly from some hot spot they'd ...
April 28, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
NASA tests the seaworthiness of its new moonship.
April 27, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel