SpacecraftSub-orbital, orbital, lunar, interplanetary and interstellar vehicles designed to navigate space
Recently deceased John H. Marburger, former Science Advisor to President George W. Bush and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, had a long and distinguished career as a scientist, an administrator and public servant. I knew him through his advocacy and involvement in the development of the Vision for Space [...]
July 30, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
The shuttle has retired, but the astronauts haven’t.
July 26, 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
Highlights from America's longest-lived space program.
July 08, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
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
How do you pack a $2.5 billion Mars rover for shipment? Here’s how. This time-lapse video, covering a period of five days, shows the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory being prepared for shipment from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to its launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The journey, scheduled for later this month, will be partly [...]
June 22, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
“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
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
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
Last night NASA made one last attempt to contact the Spirit Mars rover, which got stuck in the sand two years ago and hadn’t been heard from since March 22. Nobody expected a response after 1200 previous unanswered messages, and sure enough, there was no answer from Mars. So, with the chances of success “practically [...]
May 25, 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
Weightlessness does wonders for your 'do. Vote on your favorite zero-g look.
May 19, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel and 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