October 4, 1957. An R-7 rocket was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome. On board was the first satellite placed into orbit by humans, Sputnik I. A simple metal globe 58 cm in diameter and weighing 83.6 kg with four spring loaded antennas, Sputnik caused a shock as the repeated beeps from its radio transmitter were heard […]Read more "Sixty Years Since We First Reached Space"
Voyager 2 was launched forty years ago today, August 20, 1977 to begin the highly successful outer planet and deep space Voyager missions. Sixteen days later, on September 5, Voyager 1 was launched. Both vehicles were launched on a Titan IIIE with a Centaur upper stage. Voyager 1 is now the spacecraft furthest away from […]Read more "Forty Years of Voyager"
Fifty-one years before SpaceX reused one of the Dragon space capsules on CRS-11, NASA and the US Air Force successfully reused a Gemini capsule. Gemini 2 was the last uncrewed test flight of the Gemini-Titan vehicle that was launched on January 19, 1965. The mission was a suborbital flight to confirm tests on the re-entry […]Read more "Before Dragon – The First Reused Space Capsule"
Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev, the crew of Soyuz 11 were the first crew to occupy a space station, Soyuz 1. Launched on June 7, 1971, they docked the same day for the start of a 22 day stay on the station, setting a space endurance record. On board, they conducted various […]Read more "Remembering Soyuz 11"
June 19-25 is Pollinator Week and a time to celebrate all the butterflies, moths, wasps, flies and even bees that pollinate plants around the world. They bring us beauty and food, so take a little time to stop and watch them at work. They’re not hard to find, just find some wildflowers – you probably […]Read more "Pollinator Week"
America’s first two spacewalk missions launched a year apart, June 3, 1965 for Gemini 4 and June 3, 1966 for Gemini 9. Between the quickly prepared EVA for Gemini 4 and the long-planned EVA for Gemini 9, NASA had a busy year from Gemini 5’s first long-duration mission of 8 days, the rescheduled Gemini 6 […]Read more "A Year Between EVAs"
May 14, 1973, SA-513, the last Saturn V was launched. Instead of the usual third stage and Apollo spacecraft, the payload was the first US space station, Skylab. Built from a Saturn IB upper stage, S-IV-B 214, Skylab would have a spacious workshop area, telescope mount, multiple docking adapter and large solar panels for power. […]Read more "Remembering Skylab"