Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Heritage

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: One-on-One with NASA’s George Diller

    Jason RhianMay 7th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Those who watched NASA's shuttles and planetary missions leave Earth for distant destinations and thrilled as the countdown reach zero are familiar with the voice of George Diller. Diller, in his role as a public affairs officer, has been the voice that announced the start of many missions – but that time is now drawing to a close.

  • Aldrin, Thunderbirds buzz Kennedy Space Center

    Víctor AmayaApril 5th, 2017

    MELBOURNE, Fla. — Just months after his trip to the South Pole, 87-year-old Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, participated in a flight with the Thunderbirds, the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force.

  • NASA, Orbital ATK provide boosters for Endeavour exhibit

    Jason RhianMarch 31st, 2017

    Not everyone had the chance to see the Space Shuttle fully stacked with its external tank and SRBs; those that have usually came away awestruck at the power and size of the vehicle. Soon, guests who visit the California Science Center will have the opportunity to walk away with similar feelings, and it's partly thanks to the efforts of NASA and Orbital ATK.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Apollo 11’s Columbia CM preparing for 4 city tour

    Lloyd CampbellMarch 15th, 2017

    The Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia, is currently being prepared for its first trip in more than 40 years. Having completed its first major trip, a journey to the Moon in 1969, the spacecraft toured the country before being turned over to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1971.

  • The evolution of U.S. spacesuits from Mercury to today

    Lloyd CampbellFebruary 3rd, 2017

    In order for humans to survive in the hostile environment of outer space, mankind has invented new technologies ranging from rockets that lift us into space, to vehicles capable of sustaining us in space, and the ultimate personal space 'vehicle' – the spacesuit.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The legacy of STS-107

    Lloyd CampbellFebruary 1st, 2017

    On Jan. 16, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia (flight STS-107) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, her crew was finally embarking on the mission they had waited five years to launch.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Apollo 1, NASA’s first crewed disaster a half century later

    Lloyd CampbellJanuary 27th, 2017

    In November 1966, NASA would bring the highly successful Gemini program to a close when commander James Lovell and pilot Buzz Aldrin splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. The tenth flight of the Gemini program closed out the program on a high note and paved the way for NASA to move onto the Apollo program which would land men on the surface of the Moon.

  • NASA remembers three space tragedies

    Collin SkocikJanuary 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.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Opportunity rover marks 13 years on Mars

    Curt GodwinJanuary 25th, 2017

    NASA's Mars rover "Opportunity" might never be classified as speedy, averaging only slightly more than 2 miles (3.36 km) per year since its landing on Jan. 25, 2004. Nevertheless, what the stalwart explorer lacks in range is more than made up with its longevity. The rover has been in active operation on the Red Planet for 13 years, far exceeding the original planned mission of 90 sols (∼92 Earth...

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit remembered 13 years after landing

    Curt GodwinJanuary 4th, 2017

    The landing of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in January 2004 marked the beginning 13 years of continuous robotic operations on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, multiple spacecraft, including Spirit, have beamed back textbook-rewriting information about past water activity on the red world.

  • Success, setbacks and silence: 2016 in review

    Jason RhianDecember 31st, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The past 12 months, for good or ill, have redefined space exploration. In 2016, efforts to expand the space frontier both resumed and retracted, visionaries made bold claims, while legends fell silent forever.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Saving 1968

    Derek RichardsonDecember 25th, 2016

    The very first Christmas spent in space by humans was in 1968 during the mission of Apollo 8, forty-eight years ago. That flight saw the first people leave Earth’s orbit and go to another heavenly body.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Heroes and Legends exhibit opens at KSC Visitor Complex

    Jason RhianNovember 12th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Astronaut Hall of Fame and Boeing unveiled the new Heroes and Legends exhibit at a star-studded event held on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. The Grand Opening was attended by 25 astronauts as well as their families and numerous experts within the industry.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since Gemini XII

    Collin SkocikNovember 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: MOL program honored on 50th anniversary

    Jason RhianNovember 4th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum honored the 50th anniversary of the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory program at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2016. The event took place at the Gemini capsule's display in the museum’s Schriever Room. MOL marked an ambitious period in human space flight, a time before satellites were the preferred method of orbital reconnaissance...