Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Editorial

  • Review: Incredible Stories From Space

    Jason RhianDecember 18th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Having met Nancy Atkinson in the waning days of the Shuttle era, I was flattered when she asked me to write for Universe Today. I was flattered by her again when she asked me to review her book. Flattery gave way to respect and appreciation upon reading "Incredible Stories from Space".

  • Eulogy: Marine, astronaut, senator – The life of John Glenn

    David BrownDecember 9th, 2016

    Few could ever hope to achieve in three lifetimes what John Glenn has done in one. As a father, husband, patriot, Marine test pilot, astronaut, senator, and even presidential candidate, Glenn's life has been one of drive, determination, and the willingness to meet and overcome any obstacle set before him.

  • Beyond: SFI artist imagines NASA’s next great voyage

    Jason RhianDecember 6th, 2016

    Since the earliest days of the Space Age, artists have attempted to depict what missions to the Moon or deeper into space might look like. SpaceFlight Insider's James Vaughan carries on that proud tradition with images of what the Chicago-based graphic illustrator thinks might be just over the horizon for the U.S. space agency's crewed exploration ambitions.

  • Insider Exclusive: Jacobs’ TPSF enabling Kennedy to become multi-user spaceport

    Jason RhianNovember 28th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The TPSF is one of the many centers that has had to redefine itself in the post-shuttle era. As NASA works to repurpose KSC, to convert it into a multi-user spaceport, the buildings' unique capabilities are continuing to serve the agency as it eyes sending crews to asteroids, Mars, and other potential deep space destinations.

  • OPINION: What’s the worst thing that could happen to NASA under Trump’s presidency?

    Jason RhianNovember 13th, 2016

    A Trump presidency, often joked about and derided, is now a reality. With Donald Trump often described as the “ultimate outsider”, what should, or rather, what shouldn’t the president-elect do regarding space policy.

  • OPINION: Commercial Crew – It was never about saving money

    Curt GodwinNovember 1st, 2016

    The last time NASA had to pony up for astronauts to hitch a ride to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Russians on their venerable Soyuz spacecraft, they paid – on average – nearly $82 million per seat, for a total of six seats. That's $490 million to get six astronauts to the ISS.

  • Reflections on the launch of OA-5: Remembering

    Jason RhianOctober 30th, 2016

    ABOVE PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — It was a trip meant to last about four days. When all was said and done, nine had elapsed. As most of us are aware, travel in the post-9-11 world is not what one would describe as “fun", and covering the return-to-flight of Antares had been an interesting challenge.

  • Reflections on the launch of OA-5: Waiting

    Jason RhianOctober 25th, 2016

    CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — The sleepy seaside village of Chincoteague only has a population of about 3,000 and is generally a quiet restful place best known for the wild ponies who reside in the wetlands surrounding NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The island’s peaceful nature has been interrupted over the course of the past three years with some fairly dramatic activity.

  • We Are Go Florida – Becoming a Vacationaut

    Mackenzie KaneOctober 25th, 2016

    When your average family or traveler finds their way to the Sunshine State, their first thoughts are, typically, which theme park to tackle first, or which beaches to visit before returning home. But what if there was something just as awe-inspiring as an immense theme park or white sandy beaches?

  • Reflections on the launch of OA-5: Infinite Blue

    Jason RhianOctober 24th, 2016

    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — On Monday, Oct. 10, as I sit at Orlando International Airport, I was left wondering which gods I had offended. This was one of only a handful of trips SpaceFlight Insider had opted to undertake in 2016, and it was off to a less than auspicious start.

  • SFI Video: Launch of Antares 230 with S.S. Alan Poindexter Cygnus spacecraft

    Jason RhianOctober 22nd, 2016

    WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va. — With mission managers pushing the flight to the very close of a five-minute long launch window, Orbital ATK and NASA launched an Antares 230 rocket from MARS' Pad 0A at 7;45 p.m. EDT (23:45 GMT) on Oct. 17, 2016. SFI captured the entire event on video.

  • OSIRIS-REx – the human factor

    Jim SiegelSeptember 28th, 2016

    While the world is frequently amazed at the powerful and precise equipment required to explore the cosmos, the technology would be useless without one particular asset – people.

  • OPINION: What are the 2016 presidential contenders’ views on space?

    Jim SiegelSeptember 25th, 2016

    Voters are likely having a hard time learning about how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump feel about space exploration. Neither of their websites mentions NASA or space exploration. The platforms for each Party only give a cursory mention of these topics. Space exploration simply doesn't top the agenda during this election.

  • Book Review: Calculated Risk – The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom

    Jason RhianAugust 6th, 2016

    When we think of the first U.S. astronauts, names like Shepard, Glenn, and Armstrong come to mind. A new book works to add one of the hardest-working space flyers of the early Space Age to that list – Grissom.

  • Inside Opportunity: Red (Planet), White and Blue

    James RiceJuly 4th, 2016

    The United States leads the way in terms of exploring the planet Mars, and Mars Exploration Rover team member Jim Rice shares his personal experiences as the nation marks its 240th anniversary.

  • Insider Exclusive: Precourt talks boosters, bovines and brilliance

    Jason RhianJuly 2nd, 2016

    PROMONTORY, Utah — Charlie Precourt has piercing, steely-blue eyes that help cement one's mental image of a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and a four-time space shuttle astronaut. Precourt now works for Orbital ATK to develop the massive five-segment SRBs that will be used on the new SLS. SpaceFlight Insider spoke with Precourt in an exclusive interview about the June 28, 2016, QM-2 test fire.

  • Inside Opportunity: Dust devils, high-altitude clouds, and sulfur-rich soils

    James RiceJune 2nd, 2016

    Since my last update, Opportunity has traveled 100 meters westward up a slope in Marathon Valley to continue our search for the elusive phyllosilicates (clay minerals) that were detected from orbit by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometers for Mars (CRISM) instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

  • Insider illustrations: The art of James Vaughan

    Jason RhianMay 16th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The work of James Vaughan is as visually stunning as they are historically important, and the thought process that goes behind them is based on both passion and history.

  • Review – Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History

    Jason RhianApril 17th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Visitors to Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 34 might view the site as a forlorn relic of a bygone age, an era when humans walked on another world. For others, it stands as mute testimony to past lessons learned – which should not be forgotten in the future. As NASA looks to destinations deep in space, one author and space historian takes us back to the earliest days of...

  • Review: The Last Man on the Moon

    Jason RhianMarch 17th, 2016

    WINTER PARK, Fla. — Former Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan knows a lot about making an impression: the imprints left by his boots still denote his presence as one of only twelve human beings to set foot on the Moon. In 1972, Cernan, along with Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, strode across the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor's surface on Apollo 17 – mankind's final mission to the Moon in the 20...