Spaceflight

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

.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach