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

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: LRO and LCROSS turn five!

    June 18th, 2014

    On June 18, 2009 at 5:32 p.m. EDT, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket roared off the launch pad at Launch Complex 41. In so doing, it signaled the start of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS)  missions to the Moon. The LRO and LCROSS spacecrafts […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Pioneer 10, first to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System

    June 13th, 2014

    On June 13, 1983, Pioneer 10 left the Solar System and began its journey into interstellar space after 30 years of flight. It succeeded as becoming the first spacecraft to survey Jupiter, Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: celebrating an independent Spirit

    June 10th, 2014

    On this day in 2003, Spirit, the first of NASA’s two Mars Exploration Rovers was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 17 in Florida aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The rovers were built to understand if Mars was or can be a habitable world. The scientific goals of Spirit and Opportunity […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: celebrating 55 years of X-15

    June 8th, 2014

    On this date (June 8) in 1959, A. Scott Crossfield flew the X-15, leading the United States in the first glide flight at Dryden Flight Research Facility, CA.  Within the first 50 years of spaceflight, the X-15 became the world’s first operational spaceplane.  The experimental, rocket-boosted aircraft flew 199 flights with 12 different pilots at […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Gemini IV launches

    June 3rd, 2014

    On this day in 1965, a  Titan II rocket carrying Gemini astronauts James McDivitt and Edward White launched from Complex 19 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The four day spaceflight was an attempt to overcome the flight of the Soviet Union’s Vostok 5. The highlight of the mission was the first spacewalk (EVA) by an American, […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Surveyor 1, 1st American craft to soft land on the Moon

    May 31st, 2014

    The Surveyor 1 spacecraft launched  from Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop an Atlas/Centaur rocket on May 30,1966. It would become the first spacecraft to land softly on the surface of the Moon. The soft landing was achieved using a retrorocket and a bank of three thrusters to slow the lander’s speed […]

  • Earth’s first selfie

    May 26th, 2014

    In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, NASA asked “Where are you on Earth Right Now?”  Receiving 36,422 individual photos from people on every continent, including 113 countires and regions, NASA created the “Global Selfie” mosaic which was released almost a month later. The photos were posted  with the tag #GlobalSelfie on popular social media websites […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: A rare view of Endeavour

    May 25th, 2014

    Three years ago, on May 23, 2011, Paolo Nespoli took the first pictures of a shuttle docked to the International Space Station (ISS) from the perspective of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Not only was this the first picture of  Endeavour docked to the ISS, it was also the first image of any shuttle docked to the station […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Pioneer, mapping the surface of Venus

    May 20th, 2014

    On this day in 1978, the Pioneer Venus 1 spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center aboard an Atlas-Centaur rocket.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Endeavour’s Final Voyage

    May 16th, 2014

    On this day in 2011, space shuttle Endeavour took its final voyage to space carrying aboard six astronauts, two critical instruments for the International Space Station, and four major milestones.

  • Russian Deputy PM announces ban on RD-180 & NK-33 engines, closure of GPS stations, terminating ISS cooperation

    May 13th, 2014

    News network RT reports that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has announced a ban on Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines on missions carried out for the U.S. Department of Defense. According to RT, the decision to limit the use of these engines is one which stems from how these engines will be used – and […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Endeavour’s maiden voyage

    May 7th, 2014

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — On May 7, 1992, Space Shuttle Endeavour roared aloft on her maiden voyage. The crew of Endeavour’s STS-49 mission captured and repaired Intelsat VI, which had been stranded in an unusable orbit since its launch atop a Titan rocket in March of 1990. Over the course of 3 spacewalks, the satellite […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: America leaps into space

    May 5th, 2014

    On this day in 1961, America took its first step toward launching humans into space. Showing tremendous bravery a single astronaut, one of the original Mercury seven astronauts looked toward the sky and told the launch control team that it was time to: “Light this candle…”

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Happy Birthday, Ellen Baker!

    April 27th, 2014

    Sixty-one years ago today, Ellen Baker was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to Melvin Shulman, a doctor, and Claire Shulman, the first woman to hold the presidential office in the borough of Queens, New York.  

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: international cooperation with SpaceLab

    April 26th, 2014

    On this day in 1993, the crew of STS-55 launched aboard space shuttle Columbia with the German payload SpaceLab demonstating the team’s abiliy for international cooperation and scientific research.