Last week the world mourned for the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle that claimed seven lives. Today, we mark the 13th anniversary of Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia’s breakup upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
What’s worse than a broken space-toilet? A broken space-toilet when it’s your very first shift as boss, and suddenly you have to work on the logistics of either getting it fixed or landing your astronauts in Africa. This is Flight Director Rob Kelso’s first-hand account of the narrowly-averted shitstorm.
A mahogany wind tunnel for testing spacecraft aerodynamics is just too delightfully steampunk for real life. Or is it a real-life simulation of a 1980s-style overly-exuberant display of photographic superposition?
What happens to a space shuttle if the main engine never fires during launch? NASA researchers tested for that in this scale-model test May 1988. The answer? It’s not exactly catastrophic, but it sure means no one is going to space that day.
May 27, 1999: The Space Shuttles were always pretty, but this launch of Discovery was a particularly gorgeous start to the first mission to dock with the International Space Station.
Maybe you’ve noticed that in older pictures of the once-budding Space Shuttle Program, the Shuttle’s giant external tank appears brilliant white instead of the rusty orange color we have become so accustomed to over the years. So what caused the tank’s change in color palette?
August 30, 1983: It’s never a good sign when nature gets too involved in a rocket launch. This lightning storm put on a spectacular display during rainy skies the morning before Challenger blasted off in the first pre-dawn launch of the space shuttle program.
Where did the records for the tiles lining the space shuttle disappear to? The database on the life of each and every one of the 24,000 tiles has itself gone missing. In some cases, NASA still has tabs on the tiles themselves, but some have made their way out into the world, both deliberately or on the black market.
One day before the unfortunate SpaceX launch failure—which proved once again that space is hard—a new, deeply saddening but inspiring exhibition was opened at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
For some reason, my social media feeds lately have been filled with images of “Russia’s secret space shuttles” that have fallen into ruin. This is a little puzzling, since those shuttles haven’t been ‘secret’ for decades, and they’ve been in terrible condition for over 20 years. But that got me thinking — was it a…
Russian photographer and urban explorer Ralph Mirebs just published one of the saddest photoseries on space exploration. He managed to get inside an abandoned hangar at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where two Burans—the prototype space shuttles of the Russian space program—are slowly decaying in their burial crypt.
Everybody identifies Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center as the epicenters of America’s now defunct Space Shuttle Program. What most people don’t know is that the Shuttle almost had a second home at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the south central coast of California.
The stories told of ancient beings so powerful that they could fling themselves into space and explore the points of light in the heavens. When Lady Adelaide moved into one of their unused crafts, many called it blasphemy. She called it research.
Shaylee was busy playing with her toys on the couch when footage from one of NASA's Space Shuttle launches started playing on television. Anyone who's witnessed something as awe-inspiring as human spaceflight will surely identify with her sense of wonder. All together now: ISSAWOCKETSHIIIIIIIIP!
NASA had initially planned to name the first Space Shuttle Constitution. Now, declassified White House documents reveal what convinced President Gerald Ford to overrule that decision and thrill Star Trek fans by calling it Enterprise.
The first Space Shuttle didn't reach orbit until 1981, but NASA was working on designs for nearly a dozen years before that. And looking at the progression of these concept drawings, you can see how compromises were made and budgets were cut. Here's the evolution of the Space Shuttle, in pictures.
Machines don't just happen. They are dreamt, designed, developed, built and flown. The Space Shuttle Orbiter came out of the same malaise era that brought us rich Corinthian leather, 180 HP V8s and chassis stiffness akin to a wet sheet. Nonetheless, the orbiter was a remarkable machine. It was designed and built…
The space shuttle Enterprise, has a new baby brother. A fully-detailed, 1/35th scale replica of the prototype orbiter. Today, Ed Diment, Lego "Master Builder," unveiled his latest model at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. It's on display this weekend ONLY, so get off your ass and check it out!
Okay, actually just unwrapping — but hey, this would be the best present you could ever get for Christmas.
It appears that the Space Shuttle Enterprise was damaged during the Superstorm. The shuttle, which is NASA's original prototype orbiter, was on display inside an inflatable covering aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. CollectSpace reports: "Photos show the 180-foot-long (55 meters) by 60-foot-high (18…