Veteran astronaut Paul J. Weitz has died at the age of 85. Among his many accomplishments, Weitz served as a pilot aboard the Skylab space station, commanded the first flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and logged nearly 800 total hours in space.
Kids and space ships go hand in hand, which is why so many of us fondly remember Lego set #1682, the Space Shuttle Launch, released 27 years ago. Last month Adam Woodworth created a tiny drone version of Lego’s shuttle that could fly indoors, but now he’s created a larger version that can soar through the sky like an…
As a follow-up to turning the classic Lego Solo Trainer set into a fully-functional RC plane, aerospace engineer Adam Woodworth is back with an even more impressive build: he somehow made this tiny 27-year-old Lego Space Shuttle actually fly.
What’s the first thing you think about when you think of NASA’s space shuttle program? Sally Ride? Spinning in microgravity? The Challenger explosion? That episode of the Simpsons? You might not think about the US military and intelligence community launching spy satellites, but you should. NASA’s shuttles were…
With his passing earlier today, John Glenn is being remembered as not only the first American to orbit the Earth, but also the oldest. Here’s why NASA sent a 77-year-old man into space, and how his historic trip set space science forward.
Wonder Bread is already semi-miraculous: It’s impossibly soft, sweet, and shelf-stable. But unlocking the true potential inside this fluffy stuff results in a substance nearly impervious to heat and electricity, not dissimilar from what used to cover the exterior of spacecraft.
How long does it take to transport a 15-story long space shuttle fuel tank through Los Angeles? According to the trip one took yesterday, around 19 hours.
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.
At the time the space shuttle program ended, the three remaining shuttles had flown 25, 33, and 39 times respectively. They were designed for a lifetime of 100 flights each.
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.