Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Heritage

  • 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...

  • Inside Opportunity: South!

    James RiceOctober 4th, 2016

    The Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" is continuing its epic journey across Mars. It has discovered some interesting features along the way – as the science team honors the robotic geologist's predecessors.

  • National Aviation Hall of Fame inducts class of 2016

    Heather SmithOctober 3rd, 2016

    The National Aviation Hall of Fame welcomed two new members into its ranks on Oct. 1, 2016. The event was a star-studded affair attended that SFI was fortunate enough to attend.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: NASA turns 58

    Collin SkocikOctober 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...

  • ASF marks 35-year anniversary since flights of STS-1 & STS-2

    Jason RhianSeptember 18th, 2016

    HOUSTON, Texas — It has been three-and-a-half decades since the Space Shuttle Columbia carried out her first and second flights – heralding the start of the Shuttle era. The ASF held a three-day event, starting on Thursday, Sept. 15, to mark the occasion.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The second flight of Rotary Rocket’s Roton ATV

    Jim SharkeySeptember 17th, 2016

    MOJAVE, Calif. — On Sept. 16, 1999, the Roton Atmospheric Test Vehicle (ATV) made its second successful test flight. The conical rotorcraft rose to a planned altitude of 20 ft (6.1 m) above the runway of Mojave Air and Space Port, propelled by hydrogen peroxide tip rockets, and hovered for two-and-a-half minutes.