Tag Archives: Space Shuttle

Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space, Dead at 61

A true American pioneer, Sally Ride has passed away at age 61 after a 17 month battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

Flying aboard the Challenger in 1983, she made US history. She flew again on the same shuttle a year later. A physist as well as an astronaut, she helped design the robotic arm that made the shuttles (and later the ISS) so versatile and successful.

She also served on the two review boards overseeing the destruction of the Challenger and the Columbia.

The End of an Era – Atlantis Safely Back on Earth

“After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle’s earned its place in history. And it’s come to a final stop.”

In the pre-dawn hours in Florida, the Space Shuttle Atlantis came to a stop, ending a 30-year era of space travel for the United States.

The crew of four ended their historic mission forty-two years and one day after we first set foot on the moon.

Continue reading →

Atlantis Launched

For the final time the Atlantis is aloft. And as some would say, she’s home for the last time.

She is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Sunday and to return home after thirteen days.

This marks the final launch of any space shuttle. With the end of the program and no concrete replacement, NASA is planning on laying off over 14,000 people from across the board.

One of their chief concerns is that with the glut of unemployed aerospace workers, few young people will want to embark in training for a career in space work, leading to a generational “brain drain” that will cripple the American space program in a decade or two.

“Welcome Home Endeavour”

In a very cool looking night landing, the youngest ship in the fleet, the Endeavour, comes to rest at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Next month, Atlantis will be making the final shuttle flight to resupply the ISS as well as experiment with in-space refueling, a concept necessary for manned space travel to move beyond the Earth and Moon. She was rolled out onto the launch pad yesterday, watched by over 8000 NASA personnel and onlookers.

Continue reading →

“For the final time: Wheels stop”

Space Shuttle Discovery, the oldest and most experienced shuttle in the fleet has come home, one final time.

Endeavor and Atlantis are still scheduled for their own missions, but Discovery marks the beginning of the end for a 30-year era at NASA.

Discovery Retrospective from NASA

To get an idea of what she’s accomplished, look at it this way:

  • Spent a just over a year in space (365 days, 12 hours, 53 minutes, 34 seconds)
  • Flown a distance equivalent to 1.5 trips to the Sun.

Continue reading →

A Day Late, Space Shuttle Discovery Comes Home

Delayed a day by rainy weather, the space shuttle Discovery is back, safe and sound at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a 15 day mission.

Meanwhile, the Atlantis is getting ready to be moved overnight to the Vehicle Assembly Building to get her ready for her final mission. That mission is slated to launch May 14th.

The next time Discovery takes to the skies it will be in September and will mark not only her final mission, but the last planned mission for the entire shuttle fleet.

Shuttle Discovery Now in Orbit

It was an early morning launch, but the Space Shuttle Discovery is now in orbit. They are reporting some problems with the shuttle’s main antenna, but it doesn’t appear to be bad enough to scrub Discovery’s planned dock with the ISS.

This mission represents the first time four women have been in space at the same time (three from the Shuttle’s crew and one aboard the ISS).

The mission also marks a milestone for the retiring program. Every mission from here on out will be each shuttle’s last.

Continue reading →