Space Shuttle

Ten high-profile players in the commercial space race

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: September 15, 2010   View Article

When NASA’s space shuttle fleet retires in 2011, the space agency will have to rely on Russian spacecraft and the private sector to taxi cargo and humans to and from the International Space Station, even as it turns its focus to the technologies required to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit.

President Barack Obama views the policy as a boost to the nascent commercial spaceflight industry, where competition is already heating up to supply the taxi services. Some companies are also talking about offering out-of-this-world rides for researchers as well as tourists with deep pockets and a serious case of star lust. Check out 10 of the top players in the race to commercialize space.

Memorable moments in space shuttle history

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: May 6, 2010   View Article

After more than 130 missions over nearly 30 years, NASA’s space shuttle program is gearing up for its final flight, when Endeavour will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $1.5 billion particle detector, to the International Space Station.

“It is obviously time for these vehicles to be given an honorable retirement, and I do emphasize honorable,” said Roger Launius, senior curator of human spaceflight at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. “They have served well, but they are obsolete and it’s time to move on.”

Follow along as msnbc.com and Launius take a look back at memorable moments in space shuttle history

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All-time top 10 astronomy pictures

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: April 1, 2009   View Article

Every day since June 16, 1995, Professor Robert Nemiroff at Michigan Technological University and NASA scientist Jerry Bonnell have posted an image on the Web as their Astronomy Picture of the Day. Click through 10 of Nemiroff’s favorites in this slideshow, which pays tribute to an event called 100 Hours of Astronomy.

10 firsts from NASA’s first 50 years

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: October 1, 2008   View Article

NASA is celebrating its 50th birthday, and what a ride it has been! The space agency has sent humans to the moon and probes to the edge of the solar system, meeting with triumph as well as tragedy. Learn about 10 firsts from the space agency’s first 50 years.

Hubble Repair Mission Approved by NASA

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 31, 2006   View Article

Yes, the Hubble Space Telescope will stay in business, at least until 2013.

NASA announced today that the U.S. space agency has found a way to safely service the aging telescope, which is famous for capturing spectacular images of the universe.

Shuttle’s Human Experiments Pave Way for Moon, Mars Voyages

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 17, 2006   View Article

The space shuttle Discovery successfully finished its latest voyage today, touching down at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 9:14 a.m. local time.

But science experiments started during the 13-day mission will continue.

Throughout their nearly two weeks in space, the crew kept diaries of their sleeping habits and filled containers with various bodily fluids.

The tasks were part of experiments designed to help better prepare astronauts to stay healthy during long-distance space flights to the moon and Mars.

Discovery Mission Will Make or Break Shuttle’s Future

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 29, 2006   View Article

NASA observers have their wary eyes set on Saturday’s scheduled launch of the space shuttle Discovery.

Will it mark a triumphant beginning to the program’s twilight years or signal that the program has become too troubled to continue?

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach