Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Heather Smith

Heather Smith's fascination for space exploration – started at the tender age of twelve while she was on a sixth-grade field trip in Kenner, Louisiana, walking through a mock-up of the International Space Station and seeing the “space potty” (her terminology has progressed considerably since that time) – she realized at this point that her future lay in the stars. Smith has come to realize that very few people have noticed how much spaceflight technology has improved their lives. She has since dedicated herself to correcting this problem. Inspired by such classic literature as Anne Frank’s Diary, she has honed her writing skills and has signed on as The Spaceflight Group’s coordinator for the organization’s social media efforts.

Articles By Heather Smith

  • Asteroid 2014 RC to flyby Earth on Sunday

    September 5th, 2014

    A tiny remnant of the solar system’s formation, an asteroid designated 2014 RC, will pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7. At 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / 1818 GMT), the asteroid will conduct closest approach over New Zealand. Far from the hunk of space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs, 2014 RS […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The first flight of Discovery – STS-41D

    August 30th, 2014

    On August 30, 1984, space shuttle Discovery launched at 8:42 a.m. EDT (1242 p.m.GMT) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-41D crew was led by Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr. and Pilot Michael L. Coats. The crew also included Judith A. Resnik, Steven A. Hawley, and Richard M. Mullane as Mission Specialists and Charles D. […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: remembering STS-128, five years later

    August 29th, 2014

    On August 29, 2009, space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at 11:59 pm EDT (0359 GMT) with the STS-128 crew onboard. Led by Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Kevin Ford, the crew included Jose Hernandez, Danny Olivas, Nicole Stott, Christer Fuglesang, and Patrick Forrester as mission specialists. Discovery carried the Leonardo Multi-Purpose […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: a piggyback ride for Enterprise

    August 12th, 2014

    On August 12, 1977, Space Shuttle Enterprise made its first glided test flight. During the test, she was piggybacked off a modified Boeing 747 airplane and glided safely to the floor of the Mojave Desert. Enterprise, the first orbiter built for the Space Shuttle Program, was used primarily for ground and flight tests within the […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Roving on the lunar surface with Apollo 15

    July 31st, 2014

    On July 31, 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin became the first to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), traveling more that 17 miles on the surface of the Moon. LRV was a four-wheeled, manually controlled, electrically powered vehicle that carried the crew and their equipment over the lunar surface. Apollo 15 […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: STS-93, Chandra, Collins and Columbia’s challenge

    July 23rd, 2014

    On July 23, 1999 at 12:31 a.m. EDT (0431 GMT), astronaut Eileen Collins became the first female space shuttle commander, leading the STS-93 crew to successfully deploy the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The mission began aboard space shuttle Columbia along with Jeffrey S. Ashby as pilot and Steven A. Hawley, Catherine “Cady” G. Coleman, and Michel […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The first steps of Apollo 11

    July 20th, 2014

    July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to ever walk on the moon, cementing America’s lead in the 1960s space race. The purpose of the Apollo 11 mission was to perform a manned lunar landing, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal of: “We shall go to the moon in […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The Journey Begins

    July 16th, 2014

    Forty-five years ago today, on July 16, 1969, three astronauts were launched aboard a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch of Apollo 11 was the start of NASA’s first attempt to land men on the Moon. It would mark the beginning of a brief period in time, when humanity walked on […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: The first international space partnership

    July 15th, 2014

    On July 15, 1975, The first international space partnership, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, took place between the United Soviet Socialist Republic and the United States. This first international spaceflight effort took place when an Apollo and a Soyuz spacecraft docked in low-Earth-orbit for a nine-day mission that brought the two former rivals together as one.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: A first look at Mars

    July 14th, 2014

    Between 1962 and 1973, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory built ten spacecrafts to explore Mercury, Venus, and Mars. One of the great successes of the early American space program, Mariner 4’s 21 images were the first taken of another planet from space. The spacecraft continued to send images of the Martian surface through October of that year. […]

  • What have we accomplished in three years? Life after STS-135

    July 12th, 2014

    On a hot summer morning in July of 2011, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida marking the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program. It not only marked the end of the U.S.’ crewed program of record – but all signaled a potential turning point. What has the U.S. space […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: the legacy and milestones of Skylab

    July 11th, 2014

    Thirty-five years ago today on July 11, 1979, Skylab reentered the Earth’s atmosphere after nearly six years in orbit above our world. Skylab was the first U.S. manned space station to be sent aloft. It was designed to house three crew members per mission and proved that humans could live and work in outer space […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Shuttle launch for Independence Day

    July 4th, 2014

    On Independence Day, July 4, 2006, space Shuttle Discovery lifted off at 2:37 p.m. EDT with six astronauts aboard and two tons of cargo to be delivered to the International Space Station, including the fourth trip for the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo.

  • CNN launches original series on the Space Race

    July 2nd, 2014

    The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host a sneak preview of CNN’s original series on the Space Race as apart of their series about the Sixties. The event will take place on Monday July 7 at noon at the Astronaut Encounter Theater at KSC’s Visitor Center. The event is included with admission to Kennedy […]

  • Space X releases video of 1000 meter flight of Falcon 9R test vehicle

    June 20th, 2014

    SpaceX has released a video of their Falcon 9R Reusable Development Vehicle (F9R) flight test at their McGregor, Texas facility.  This was the first flight test of the rocket’s steerable fins that control the rocket during flyback.