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

  • 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.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The shocking launch of Apollo 12

    November 14th, 2015

    On Nov. 14, 1969, at 11:22 a.m. EST (15:22 GMT), at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the second manned Moon landing mission launched. The gigantic, 363-foot-tall Saturn V rocket boosted a tiny, three-man capsule carrying Commander Pete Conrad, Command Module Pilot Dick Gordon, and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean to the Moon.

  • NASA reaches out to private companies for ARM ideas

    October 26th, 2015

    NASA is reaching out to American industry for innovative ideas to support its Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the portion of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) in which a robotic spacecraft will rendezvous with an asteroid and retrieve a boulder to be brought to lunar orbit for later study.

  • Age of the Dragon: SpaceX has ambitious plans for the Red Planet

    October 9th, 2015

    Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is contracted under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program to deliver cargo to the ISS. SpaceX, founded in 2002, has developed the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets to launch its Dragon capsule for that purpose. SpaceX has other, more ambitious plans for its Dragon spacecraft.

  • One-year ISS mission reaches milestone

    September 13th, 2015

    For the first time, a NASA astronaut is spending a full year in space. On Sept. 5, Astronaut Scott Kelly, who has been in space since late March 2015, took command of the International Space Station (ISS) for Expeditions 45 and 46, marking the halfway point of his stint aboard the orbiting laboratory.

  • NASA awards contracts for SLS ground systems

    August 12th, 2015

    NASA has selected a prime contractor to modify its launch facilities and the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) that will be used for its new Space Launch System or "SLS." These contractors will modify the systems required to get SLS to Launch Complex 39B - and to support it all the way there.

  • NTSB releases report on SpaceShipTwo accident

    July 29th, 2015

    On Oct. 31, 2014, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed near Koehn Dry Lake in California, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. What has followed since the time of the accident has been a detailed investigation into what caused the crash, the findings of which have now been released.