The Space Shuttle Enterprise flew over New York today, piggyback-style, on its way to its retirement at the USS Intrepid Museum. PopPhoto's Dan Bracaglia, who lives in New Jersey, took these lovely photos as the shuttle and its 747 passed up the Hudson.
The first launch of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the ISS has been delayed yet again. No new date has been set, but the SpaceX apparently feels its Dragon could benefit from further testing and will not be ready for its scheduled February 7 launch. “We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data,” a SpaceX spokeswoman said in a statement today.
NASA has gone to great lengths to seed and cultivate the commercial space industry over the past few years, but it may want to be careful that it doesn’t make the grass look too much greener on the commercial side. Mike Moses, NASA’s deputy space shuttle program manager and former flight director--the guy who oversaw all shuttle operations over the last three years of the program--is jumping ship, heading over to Virgin Galactic to oversee operations at the space tourism front-runner.
Today at Kennedy Space Center, two of the glorious veterans of the Space Shuttle program are going to fire up their onboard liquid-fuel rocket engines one final time and accelerate to hypersonic speeds before crashing nose-to-nose in a majestic finale.
NASA’s space shuttles have journeyed into orbit well more than 100 times, making more than 20,000 loops around the planet along the way. But their final journeys to Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York are a logistical feat all their own. NASA moves the shuttles on the back of a modified 747, but no one has shipped a shuttle like that in more than 20 years.
The ongoing drought in Texas has turned up new debris from the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster that killed seven NASA astronauts when the shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry over Texas and Louisiana. The spherical tank was found in an exposed part of Lake Nacogdoches about 160 miles northeast of Houston where it came to rest after the disaster eight years ago.
Alright, alright, one more farewell post for Atlantis just because this image is so very amazing. Captured by the crew aboard the International Space Station, the image shows Atlantis’s glowing hot re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and the plasma trail it left behind.
Well kids, it’s finally over. This morning, just shy of 6 a.m. EDT, the space shuttle Atlantis came to a wheels stop at Kennedy Space Center, ending NASA’s Space Shuttle era and effectively capping America’s Human Spaceflight program--at least for the time being.
The next and final space shuttle launch is slated for tomorrow, with the shuttle Atlantis taking a crew of four to the space station for a 12-day stay. But with Discovery and Endeavour already in the process of being decommissioned (that is, stripped down in hanger bays), what happens if something goes awry up there with no backup shuttle ready to execute a speedy rescue?
For some, retirement means moving to Florida. For others, it means winding down one’s professional life and settling into a hobby. And for still others, it means having your forward reaction control system completely removed and thoroughly cleaned of all oxidizer chemicals and toxic fuels. So it is for the retired space shuttle Discovery, which is currently being broken down, cleaned, and reassembled for future display.
The Russians are teaching the Americans an important lesson in capitalism: where there’s high demand for a scarce commodity, costs will rise. NASA and its Russian counterpart inked a new $753 million modification to its current International Space Station transportation deal Monday, securing seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft from 2014 to 2016 at a price of almost $63 million per seat. The old contract, which runs until 2014, reserves seats on the Soyuz for just $56 million.
We've seen footage from rocket-mounted cameras before, but this is a particularly stunning example of the genre: cameras mounted on the solid-fuel rocket boosters that lifted the shuttle Discovery into space last week document their entire 30-minute voyage, from liftoff to splashdown.
After more than two months of delays, NASA said yesterday that space shuttle engineers have diagnosed the cause of Discovery’s crack problem, and the defective aluminum alloy struts are being patched and reinforced to shore up the problem. That means Discovery might finally make its final flight as soon as Feb. 24, though no target date has been announced.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.