Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Heritage

  • 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.

  • 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.