Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Heritage

  • Inside Opportunity: ‘Oppy’ fights for its life in massive Martian dust storm

    James RiceJuly 1st, 2018

    Our intrepid Opportunity rover is currently in the midst of riding out a massive global dust storm that began May 30. This storm moved south down the well-known Acidalia storm track into Xanthe Terra. A few days later the storm had stretched from eastern Valles Marineris to northern Arabia Terra. It then moved across the equator and south toward Meridiani Planum where Opportunity is located.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The first solar observatories in orbit

    Christopher PaulJune 17th, 2018

    As NASA prepares to launch its latest and most ambitious mission to study the Sun, it will join NASA missions launched to study Earth’s closest star. Since its creation in 1958, NASA has made the study of the Sun one of its priority. Given the importance of the Sun for all life on Earth, this mission's importance becomes clearer.

  • Neil Armstrong’s Dyna-Soar abort training aircraft being restored for Moon landing anniversary

    Michael ColeMay 20th, 2018

    A piece of Neil Armstrong's pre-astronaut space history is being restored in preparation for next July's 50-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

  • Yuri’s Night comes to Kennedy Space Center

    Bart LeahyApril 16th, 2018

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Yuri’s Night, the world’s largest space party, made its first appearance at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The event occurred April 13, 2018, and brought together over 750 space professionals and fans for the space-themed merriment beneath Space Shuttle Atlantis.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The atheist and Apollo 8

    Jason RhianDecember 25th, 2017

    When most people think of Apollo 8, they think of how the Book of Genesis was read from the vicinity of the Moon and the well-wishes the trio of astronauts gave the world. The year 1968 was not a good one in terms of U.S. history, and Apollo 8 ended that dark year on a high note – for most Americans. One exception, an atheist who opted to sue the U.S. government over violations of the first am...

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Voyager 1 – the Energizer Bunny

    Jason RhianDecember 4th, 2017

    The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going – and so does NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft. More to the point, so does the craft's thrusters. Over three-and-a-half decades after they were last fired, the probe's thrusters were successfully fired on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. 

  • Skywalking: STS-80 Mission Highlights: Nov.–Dec. 1996

    NASANovember 19th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — An early morning landing on the Space Shuttle Columbia ended a more than 17-day mission to deploy and retrieve two science satellites, one that studied stars and another that made thin film wafers. Pilot Kent Rominger recounted how impressive it was to see the trailing satellites at sunrise. “It was incredible having two satellites out there at the same time. In th...

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Curiosity’s fifth year on Mars marked by celebration – and song

    Christopher PaulAugust 7th, 2017

    NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated 5 (Earth) years on Mars on Saturday, August 6. After launching on a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket on Nov. 26, 2011, and then cruising through interplanetary space for nine months, the rover descended through the Red Planet's atmosphere to the surface via its Skycrane system. Curiosity landed on Mars at 05:17 UTC (1:17 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 6, 2012.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 40 years after launch, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable data

    Curt GodwinAugust 3rd, 2017

    Well past their expected lifetime, and farther from Earth than any other human-designed spacecraft, the Voyager robotic explorers are approaching another significant milestone: 40 years of operation. The two interplanetary travelers, each launched in 1977, have traveled billions of miles and expanded humanity's understanding of the Solar System and beyond.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The Shuttle replacement that never was

    Christopher PaulJuly 22nd, 2017

    When the Space Shuttle was first proposed it was meant to be “all things to all users” – a replacement for all U.S. launch vehicles. All the expendable launchers, Atlas, Titan, and Delta would retire and the shuttle would be responsible for all U.S. launches from its three pads: LC-39A / -39B at Kennedy Space Center, and SLC-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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

    Collin SkocikJuly 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.”

  • ShareSpace Apollo 11 Gala held under KSCVC’s Saturn V

    SpaceFlight InsiderJuly 16th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Under one of the three surviving Saturn V Moon rockets, Buzz Aldrin's ShareSpace Foundation hosted a gala and auction in honor of mankind's first footsteps on another world on Saturday, July 15, 2017. 

  • Want your own spacesuit? We know a guy…

    Jason RhianJuly 15th, 2017

    We've all been there: watching the astronauts get suited up for their missions beyond our world and come walking out of Kennedy's Operations and Checkout Building (M7-355 O&C) decked out in their flight suits – and wishing it was us. While boarding a spacecraft bound for the black sky is not in the offing anytime soon, one man is working to at least provide you with the appropriate apparel.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: SpaceShipOne, Government Zero – 13 years later

    Jason RhianJune 21st, 2017

    It was a heady time for the emerging NewSpace movement, Scaled Composites had sent Mike Melvill in SpaceShipOne on flight 15P up 62 miles into space. This set the stage for them to win the Ansari X-PRIZE and from there send the first tourists on suborbital hops. Or, so they hoped. Thirteen years later, the follow-on vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, has yet to send a single tourist to sub-orbit.

  • Deep Space Network – providing communications for over 50 years

    Lloyd CampbellJune 11th, 2017

    The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) comprises three sites across the globe which provide telecommunications with interplanetary spacecraft located throughout the Solar System and beyond.