Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Collin Skocik

Collin R. Skocik has been captivated by space flight since the maiden flight of space shuttle Columbia in April of 1981. He frequently attends events hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, and has met many astronauts in his experiences at Kennedy Space Center. He is a prolific author of science fiction as well as science and space-related articles. In addition to the Voyage Into the Unknown series, he has also written the short story collection The Future Lives!, the science fiction novel Dreams of the Stars, and the disaster novel The Sunburst Fire. His first print sale was Asteroid Eternia in Encounters magazine. When he is not writing, he provides closed-captioning for the hearing impaired. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.

Articles By Collin Skocik

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 48 years since Apollo 11 landed on the Moon

    July 20th, 2017

    On July 20, 1969 – 48 years ago today – the world was changed forever when two human beings walked on the Moon. 38-year-old Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the flimsy, spidery Lunar Module "Eagle" onto the soft and pliant dust of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquillity (Mare Tranquillitatis) and spoke the immortal words: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  • VASIMR plasma engine: Earth to Mars in 39 days?

    July 19th, 2017

    In Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novels and movies "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010: Odyssey Two", the spaceships Discovery and Alexei Leonov make interplanetary journeys using plasma drives. Nuclear reactors heat hydrogen or ammonia to a plasma state that’s energetic enough to provide thrust.

  • NASA scientists designing Martian dust filter

    July 7th, 2017

    One of the challenges that astronauts will face on Mars is the presence of the fine Martian dust. Not only can the dust get into equipment and cause damage, but also it is extremely toxic with perchlorates.

  • Made In Space: 3-D printing to revolutionize space construction

    July 5th, 2017

    Made In Space, Inc., the startup company out of Singularity University which, on Sept. 23, 2014, supplied the first 3-D printer to the International Space Station (ISS), has developed a program that it hopes will revolutionize construction in space, called the Archinaut Development Program.

  • Website funded by NASA enables citizens to search for objects beyond Neptune

    February 26th, 2017

    With the groundbreaking discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the red dwarf TRAPPIST-1, readers might be interested to know that NASA has a website called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9" – which allows everyday people to participate in the search for new worlds.

  • NASA remembers three space tragedies

    January 26th, 2017

    Today, Jan. 26, 2017, NASA held its annual Day of Remembrance to honor astronauts lost on three missions, as well as other agency members who lost their lives for space exploration.

  • Boeing’s T-X prototype takes flight

    January 5th, 2017

    NASA’s famous T-38 trainer, which has been flown by astronauts for fifty years, is being replaced. Boeing’s T-X made its first flight on Tuesday, Dec. 20. It heralds what could be a new age in training aircraft for NASA.

  • Team Indus joins Google Lunar X-Prize finalists, Astrobotic drops out

    December 23rd, 2016

    One of the prerequisites of staying in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) is securing a contract with a launch service provider. India-based Team Indus has successfully done that by contracting with the manufacturer of the country’s PSLV rocket. At the same time, Astrobotic, the first team to secure a contract back in 2011, announced that it is dropping out of the competition after losing its window with SpaceX's Falcon 9.

  • First GRACE-FO satellite complete

    November 18th, 2016

    Construction has been completed on the first of NASA’s new Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites. The two satellites, which will take precise measurements of Earth’s mass distribution, will be launched sometime in Dec. of 2017 or Jan. of 2018 as a follow-on to the GRACE mission which has been in operation since 2002.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since Gemini XII

    November 11th, 2016

    On Nov. 11, 1966 – 50 years ago – the final flight of NASA’s historic Project Gemini lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Commander Jim Lovell and pilot Buzz Aldrin spent three days pushing the program farther than it had ever been before and conducted the first completely successful extravehicular activity.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: NASA turns 58

    October 1st, 2016

    In 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a new civilian agency. NASA was a reorganization of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), formed on March 3, 1915, in response to European superiority in aircraft technology. NACA officially turned its operations over to NASA Oct. 1, 1958, and the Space Race was born.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Leaping further – the flight of Apollo 15

    August 2nd, 2016

    On July 26, 1971, NASA launched one of the most ambitious and spectacular space missions in history – Apollo 15. At 9:34 a.m. EDT (12:34 GMT), the gigantic Saturn V rocket lifted off from pad A at Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It carried Commander Dave Scott, Command Module Pilot Al Worden, and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin on their flight into history – and the Moon.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Apollo 11 then and now

    July 24th, 2016

    Forty-seven years ago, the United States—and more importantly, the human race—did something extraordinary: We launched Apollo 11 and landed, on July 20, 1969, two men on the surface of the Moon. It was the culmination of a decade of hard work, dedication, ever-more-ambitious space missions, the rapid development of new technologies, and costly failure.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Go long – the flight of STS-78

    June 20th, 2016

    On June 20, 1996, at 10:49 a.m. EDT (14:49 GMT), Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Pad B at Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. It was the start of a 17-day mission of scientific experimentation in the Spacelab module that was stowed in Columbia's Payload Bay. STS-78 would enter into history as the second-longest shuttle mission behind STS-80.

  • USAF’s secretive X-37B spacecraft’s AFSPC-5 mission passes one year mark

    May 25th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B spaceplane has launched four times since its first flight in 2010; it has only landed three times. The current mission, OTV-4, has been in space for more than a year, having been launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 20, 2015. Little is known as to what the vehicle is doing in orbit.