Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Heritage

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Voyager 1 – the Energizer Bunny

    Jason RhianDecember 4th, 2017

    The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going – and so does NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft. More to the point, so does the craft's thrusters. Over three-and-a-half decades after they were last fired, the probe's thrusters were successfully fired on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. 

  • Skywalking: STS-80 Mission Highlights: Nov.–Dec. 1996

    NASANovember 19th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — An early morning landing on the Space Shuttle Columbia ended a more than 17-day mission to deploy and retrieve two science satellites, one that studied stars and another that made thin film wafers. Pilot Kent Rominger recounted how impressive it was to see the trailing satellites at sunrise. “It was incredible having two satellites out there at the same time. In th...

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 40 years after launch, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable data

    Curt GodwinAugust 3rd, 2017

    Well past their expected lifetime, and farther from Earth than any other human-designed spacecraft, the Voyager robotic explorers are approaching another significant milestone: 40 years of operation. The two interplanetary travelers, each launched in 1977, have traveled billions of miles and expanded humanity's understanding of the Solar System and beyond.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 48 years since Apollo 11 landed on the Moon

    Collin SkocikJuly 20th, 2017

    On July 20, 1969 – 48 years ago today – the world was changed forever when two human beings walked on the Moon. 38-year-old Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the flimsy, spidery Lunar Module "Eagle" onto the soft and pliant dust of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquillity (Mare Tranquillitatis) and spoke the immortal words: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  • ShareSpace Apollo 11 Gala held under KSCVC’s Saturn V

    SpaceFlight InsiderJuly 16th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Under one of the three surviving Saturn V Moon rockets, Buzz Aldrin's ShareSpace Foundation hosted a gala and auction in honor of mankind's first footsteps on another world on Saturday, July 15, 2017. 

  • Want your own spacesuit? We know a guy…

    Jason RhianJuly 15th, 2017

    We've all been there: watching the astronauts get suited up for their missions beyond our world and come walking out of Kennedy's Operations and Checkout Building (M7-355 O&C) decked out in their flight suits – and wishing it was us. While boarding a spacecraft bound for the black sky is not in the offing anytime soon, one man is working to at least provide you with the appropriate apparel.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: SpaceShipOne, Government Zero – 13 years later

    Jason RhianJune 21st, 2017

    It was a heady time for the emerging NewSpace movement, Scaled Composites had sent Mike Melvill in SpaceShipOne on flight 15P up 62 miles into space. This set the stage for them to win the Ansari X-PRIZE and from there send the first tourists on suborbital hops. Or, so they hoped. Thirteen years later, the follow-on vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, has yet to send a single tourist to sub-orbit.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: One-on-One with NASA’s George Diller

    Jason RhianMay 7th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Those who watched NASA's shuttles and planetary missions leave Earth for distant destinations and thrilled as the countdown reach zero are familiar with the voice of George Diller. Diller, in his role as a public affairs officer, has been the voice that announced the start of many missions – but that time is now drawing to a close.

  • Aldrin, Thunderbirds buzz Kennedy Space Center

    Víctor AmayaApril 5th, 2017

    MELBOURNE, Fla. — Just months after his trip to the South Pole, 87-year-old Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, participated in a flight with the Thunderbirds, the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force.

  • NASA, Orbital ATK provide boosters for Endeavour exhibit

    Jason RhianMarch 31st, 2017

    Not everyone had the chance to see the Space Shuttle fully stacked with its external tank and SRBs; those that have usually came away awestruck at the power and size of the vehicle. Soon, guests who visit the California Science Center will have the opportunity to walk away with similar feelings, and it's partly thanks to the efforts of NASA and Orbital ATK.

  • NASA remembers three space tragedies

    Collin SkocikJanuary 26th, 2017

    Today, Jan. 26, 2017, NASA held its annual Day of Remembrance to honor astronauts lost on three missions, as well as other agency members who lost their lives for space exploration.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Opportunity rover marks 13 years on Mars

    Curt GodwinJanuary 25th, 2017

    NASA's Mars rover "Opportunity" might never be classified as speedy, averaging only slightly more than 2 miles (3.36 km) per year since its landing on Jan. 25, 2004. Nevertheless, what the stalwart explorer lacks in range is more than made up with its longevity. The rover has been in active operation on the Red Planet for 13 years, far exceeding the original planned mission of 90 sols (∼92 Earth...

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit remembered 13 years after landing

    Curt GodwinJanuary 4th, 2017

    The landing of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in January 2004 marked the beginning 13 years of continuous robotic operations on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, multiple spacecraft, including Spirit, have beamed back textbook-rewriting information about past water activity on the red world.

  • Success, setbacks and silence: 2016 in review

    Jason RhianDecember 31st, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The past 12 months, for good or ill, have redefined space exploration. In 2016, efforts to expand the space frontier both resumed and retracted, visionaries made bold claims, while legends fell silent forever.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Saving 1968

    Derek RichardsonDecember 25th, 2016

    The very first Christmas spent in space by humans was in 1968 during the mission of Apollo 8, forty-eight years ago. That flight saw the first people leave Earth’s orbit and go to another heavenly body.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Heroes and Legends exhibit opens at KSC Visitor Complex

    Jason RhianNovember 12th, 2016

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Astronaut Hall of Fame and Boeing unveiled the new Heroes and Legends exhibit at a star-studded event held on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. The Grand Opening was attended by 25 astronauts as well as their families and numerous experts within the industry.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since Gemini XII

    Collin SkocikNovember 11th, 2016

    On Nov. 11, 1966 – 50 years ago – the final flight of NASA’s historic Project Gemini lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Commander Jim Lovell and pilot Buzz Aldrin spent three days pushing the program farther than it had ever been before and conducted the first completely successful extravehicular activity.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: MOL program honored on 50th anniversary

    Jason RhianNovember 4th, 2016

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum honored the 50th anniversary of the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory program at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2016. The event took place at the Gemini capsule's display in the museum’s Schriever Room. MOL marked an ambitious period in human space flight, a time before satellites were the preferred method of orbital reconnaissance...

  • Inside Opportunity: South!

    James RiceOctober 4th, 2016

    The Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" is continuing its epic journey across Mars. It has discovered some interesting features along the way – as the science team honors the robotic geologist's predecessors.

  • National Aviation Hall of Fame inducts class of 2016

    Heather SmithOctober 3rd, 2016

    The National Aviation Hall of Fame welcomed two new members into its ranks on Oct. 1, 2016. The event was a star-studded affair attended that SFI was fortunate enough to attend.