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

  • 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.

  • Students create lunar rover replica

    May 5th, 2016

    A full-size, drivable replica of the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is coming to the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The vehicle, a product of three years of work by students at Ohio Northern University's (ONU) Smull College of Engineering, will be delivered by students from the university.

  • JAXA believes there is still hope for Hitomi

    March 31st, 2016

    On Feb. 17, 2016, JAXA launched the ASTRO-H satellite. The roughly $360 million satellite, equipped with X-ray telescopes to study black holes, encountered an event on orbit on Saturday, March 26, that caused communications with it to become spotty and it has since been imaged tumbling wildly on orbit. JAXA believes, however, that the mission might still be saved.

  • Jack Crenshaw: the space pioneer you never heard of

    March 27th, 2016

    The Apollo missions had two objectives laid down by President John F. Kennedy: to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth. A critical part of the second objective, returning safely to the Earth, was a trajectory that would bring the spacecraft back from the Moon and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The odyssey of Friendship 7

    February 20th, 2016

    On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn became the third American to go into space, and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, aboard the tiny Mercury capsule Friendship 7. The flight served as one of the first steps in the nation's space exploration journey.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Remembering Challenger

    January 28th, 2016

    On Jan. 28, 1986, a “routine” shuttle launch turned into a monumental tragedy that forever altered the course of the Space Shuttle Program, and from which NASA – and the nation – never fully recovered.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: SPARTAN flies high with STS-72

    January 11th, 2016

    On Jan. 11, 1996, Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off from NASA's Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on STS-72 – a mission, among other things, that was sent aloft to retrieve a Japanese satellite and return it to Earth.