Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: David Darling

Dr. David Darling is an astronomer and author of numerous books, including We Are Not Alone, Megacatastrophes, The Complete Book of Spaceflight, and his latest, The Rocket Man. His website, The Worlds of David Darling, is one of the largest and most visited science resources on the Internet. Darling is a renaissance man, he is a musician, noted author and journalist and serves as our science writer. Darling provides The Spaceflight Group with articles detailing what he knows best - space exploration.

Articles By David Darling

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Descartes and the voyage of Apollo 16

    April 20th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The public often forgets that there were six successful crewed missions to send astronauts to the surface of the Moon in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Apollo 16 was the next-to-last mission and would see crews sent to the lunar highlands for the first time ever. 

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Apollo 13 – NASA’s successful failure

    April 17th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — It was the most harrowing period of the Apollo era, Apollo 13. Luckily for the crew, the team at NASA's Mission Control Center came through with flying colors and it came to its conclusion on this date in space flight history – April 17, 1970.

  • STS-51L lessons and loss 30 years later

    January 25th, 2016

    On Jan. 28, 1986, the 25th Space Shuttle mission (STS-51L) ended in tragedy just 73 seconds after lifting off from Launch Complex 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Challenger was lost, along with its seven-member crew. The accident marked one of the darkest times in NASA's history.

  • NASA’s Orion loses weight, gains new windows

    May 5th, 2015

    NASA’s Orion spacecraft should offer crews that fly on the capsule excellent visibility and extra protection, too, as they journey to missions beyond low Earth orbit, to cislunar space, and elsewhere, as well as to the International Space Station if required. Traditionally, the windows of crewed spacecraft, such as the Apollo capsule and the Space Shuttle, have […]

  • James Webb Space Telescope’s sunshield unfurled according to plan

    August 26th, 2014

    The most visually-striking element of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), currently scheduled for launch in four years time, is a giant sunshade, designed to protect the spacecraft’s sensitive science instruments from the Sun’s glare. Shown in this story’s featured image, this vital component is shown during the first complete test of its deployment in a clean […]

  • Progress M-24M launches to International Space Station with cargo and crew supplies

    July 23rd, 2014

    Roscosmos launched the uncrewed Progress M-24M cargo vehicle, to the International Space Station (ISS), today, Wednesday July 23. The supply ship blasted off at 5:44 p.m. EDT (July 24, 3:44 a.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz-U carrier rocket.

  • Rosetta discovers target comet – is actually two comets in one

    July 16th, 2014

    The European Space Agency (ESA ) spacecraft Rosetta is rapidly closing on its target – comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – at the start of what promises to be one of the most exciting space exploration missions of the year. Space exploration, like life – is what happens while you are making other plans. Three weeks before Rosetta is […]

  • First launch of Russia’s new Angara rocket canceled – investigation underway

    July 3rd, 2014

    Russia’s beleaguered space industry suffered another setback on Friday, June 27, with the last-minute abort of the inaugural launch of the Angara 1.2 rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome. A second opportunity to launch the following day came and went with the vehicle still stood on the pad.

  • Reflections of alien seas: Cassini’s latest flyby of Titan

    June 21st, 2014

    NASA’s hugely successful Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting the sixth planet for the past 10 years, carried out its latest flyby of Saturn’s giant moon Titan on Wednesday, June 18. One of the highlights of this encounter, designated T-102, was a radio-echo experiment similar to the one conducted for the first time just a […]

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne could gain from cooling of US-Russia relations

    June 17th, 2014

    American rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne, with venerable roots in the U.S. space industry, may benefit from the political turmoil over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. As the US government reevaluates the extent of its involvement with Russia in the light of the crisis in Crimea, the California-based company sees an opportunity to get […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Remembering Apollo 10

    May 18th, 2014

    On May 18th, 1969, at 12:49 p.m. EDT, Apollo 10 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the fourth manned flight of the Apollo Project and the final rehearsal for the first manned lunar landing. Aboard were astronauts Thomas P. Stafford (Commander), John W. Young (Command Module Pilot), and Eugene Cernan (Lunar Module Pilot).

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Remembering the final flight of Project Mercury

    May 15th, 2014

    On this day in 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of Project Mercury. Lying in his capsule during countdown, Cooper was so relaxed that he even managed to nod off. He had another opportunity to sleep once in space because this 22-orbit mission was the first in […]

  • Chris Hadfield’s ‘Space Oddity’ video removed from YouTube

    May 13th, 2014

    “Far above the world, Planet Earth is blue,” crooned everyone’s favorite singing spaceman, Chris Hadfield from his perch on the International Space Station (ISS). A year ago, while commander of the ISS, the Canadian covered David Bowie’s 1969 tune Space Oddity from an orbit more than 260 miles (420 kilometers) high. Now the Youtube video […]

  • Cassini and DSN evidence suggest ocean inside Saturn’s moon Enceladus

    April 5th, 2014

    Water, water, everywhere it seems – including the sub-surface of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. Compelling evidence for an underground ocean on this remote, ice-coated world has come from NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network.

  • Through spacecraft and observatories – wild new solar system comes into focus

    March 31st, 2014

    A ring around an asteroid, a new dwarf planet, a fresh gully on Mars, and preparations to land on a comet – it’s all happening in the solar system at the moment. The last week or two has brought a slew of new discoveries and the promise of many more to come in the very […]