On December 4th, 1997, NASA launched Pathfinder, an unmanned mission to Mars which arrived seven months later on July 4th, 1997. The rover it carried, Sojourner, explored the red planet for a total of eighty days afterwards.

On December 4th, 1997, NASA launched Pathfinder, an unmanned mission to Mars which arrived seven months later on July 4th, 1997. The rover it carried, Sojourner, explored the red planet for a total of eighty days afterwards.

22 years ago today, on April 24th, 1990, NASA launched its Hubble Space Telesecope. However, soon after launch, it is realized that the telescope’s mirror was ground incorrectly, and the flaw was unable to be corrected until December 1993, during a shuttle mission.

22 years ago today, on April 24th, 1990, NASA launched its Hubble Space Telesecope. However, soon after launch, it is realized that the telescope’s mirror was ground incorrectly, and the flaw was unable to be corrected until December 1993, during a shuttle mission.

NASA’s longest-serving shuttle, Discovery, was transported from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Boeing 747 just after dawn this morning. After flying a victory lap around the capitol, it landed at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport, from which it will be moved to the Smithsonian Institution on Thursday.

(Photos via National Geographic)

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18th, 1983. Only a measly 20 years after the first Russian woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. America, this is pathetic. Ladies, let’s show these men what we are really capable of! 

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18th, 1983. Only a measly 20 years after the first Russian woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. 
America, this is pathetic. Ladies, let’s show these men what we are really capable of! 

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky
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High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.
In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.
(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

moderation:

NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky

High in the sky, 60 to 65 miles above Earth’s surface, winds rush through a little understood region of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Lower than a typical satellite’s orbit, higher than where most planes fly, this upper atmosphere jet stream makes a perfect target for a particular kind of scientific experiment: the sounding rocket. Some 35 to 40 feet long, sounding rockets shoot up into the sky for short journeys of eight to ten minutes, allowing scientists to probe difficult-to-reach layers of the atmosphere.

In March, NASA will launch five such rockets in approximately five minutes to study these high-altitude winds and their intimate connection to the complicated electrical current patterns that surround Earth. First noticed in the 1960s, the winds in this jet stream shouldn’t be confused with the lower jet stream located around 30,000 feet, through which passenger jets fly and which is reported in weather forecasts. This rocket experiment is designed to gain a better understanding of the high-altitude winds and help scientists better model the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The experiment will also help explain how the effects of atmospheric disturbances in one part of the globe can be transported to other parts of the globe in a mere day or two.

(via NASA)

Wait, are these launching merely 2 hours from my house?? I wish I could be home :(

NASA launched Columbia for the first time on April 12, 1981 with Robert L Crippen and John W Young aboard the space shuttle. During their mission, they orbited Earth 37 times, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on April 14. (via)

NASA launched Columbia for the first time on April 12, 1981 with Robert L Crippen and John W Young aboard the space shuttle. During their mission, they orbited Earth 37 times, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on April 14. (via)

On July 15th, 1975, despite their nations’ rivalry both politically and in space exploration, Soviet and American mission commanders Alexey Leonov and Tom Stafford exchanged the first international handshake in space, while their respective Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts were docked together for a period of two days. (via)

On July 15th, 1975, despite their nations’ rivalry both politically and in space exploration, Soviet and American mission commanders Alexey Leonov and Tom Stafford exchanged the first international handshake in space, while their respective Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts were docked together for a period of two days. (via)

History of Space Exploration
After the Soviet Union launched their first space station, the Salyut I, in April of 1971, the United States retaliating by launching their first experimental space station, Skylab, on May 14th, 1973. It’s use was short-lived, as less than a year later, in February of 1974, it is abandoned, remaining in Earth’s orbit until it crashes into western Australia in July of 1979.

History of Space Exploration

After the Soviet Union launched their first space station, the Salyut I, in April of 1971, the United States retaliating by launching their first experimental space station, Skylab, on May 14th, 1973. It’s use was short-lived, as less than a year later, in February of 1974, it is abandoned, remaining in Earth’s orbit until it crashes into western Australia in July of 1979.

History of Space Exploration
On March 2nd, 1972, Pioneer 10 is launched on its unmanned journey to travel through the asteroid belt and make direct observations of Jupiter, passing the gas planet in December 1973. Pioneer 10 was both the first craft to successfully maneuver through the asteroid belt and, by most definitions, leave the solar system. However, in January of 2003, it ceased to send further communications, while 7.6 billion miles from Earth.

History of Space Exploration

On March 2nd, 1972, Pioneer 10 is launched on its unmanned journey to travel through the asteroid belt and make direct observations of Jupiter, passing the gas planet in December 1973. Pioneer 10 was both the first craft to successfully maneuver through the asteroid belt and, by most definitions, leave the solar system. However, in January of 2003, it ceased to send further communications, while 7.6 billion miles from Earth.

History of Space Exploration

On April 11, 1970,  James A. Lovell, John L “Jack” Swigert and Fred W Haise, are launched on another voyage to the moon, upon the Apollo 13. However, just two days into the mission, a fault in the electrical system produces an explosion in an oxygen tank, leading to a loss of electrical power and failure of both oxygen tanks. Upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and splashing into the ocean, the crew resourcefully uses the lunar module as something of a lifeboat.

History of Space Exploration

On July 16, 1969, NASA launched the Apollo 11, making Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin the first humans to walk on the moon on July 20th, thereby fulfilling JFK’s goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 60s.

History of Space Exploration
This is the Saturn V rocket during a test flight on November 9th, 1967. After passing these trials, the rocket was used to propel the next Apollo spacecraft from the Earth’s atmosphere. 

History of Space Exploration

This is the Saturn V rocket during a test flight on November 9th, 1967. After passing these trials, the rocket was used to propel the next Apollo spacecraft from the Earth’s atmosphere. 

History of Space Exploration
On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck the space race, as the AS-204 mission (better known by its later name of Apollo 1) suffered a malfunction during a training exercise on the launch pad, causing a fire that ultimately killed all three crew members onboard. The deaths of Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee prompted NASA to completely redesign its command modules, delaying any further missions. Nearly 21 months later,  Apollo 7 became the next manned mission to completed and launched.

History of Space Exploration

On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck the space race, as the AS-204 mission (better known by its later name of Apollo 1) suffered a malfunction during a training exercise on the launch pad, causing a fire that ultimately killed all three crew members onboard. The deaths of Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee prompted NASA to completely redesign its command modules, delaying any further missions. Nearly 21 months later,  Apollo 7 became the next manned mission to completed and launched.

History of Space Exploration

On the 5th of May, 1961, Alan Shepard travelled on a 15 minute and 28 second suborbital flight, thus becoming the first American in space. This achievement prompted President John F Kennedy to pledge to put an American on the moon before the end of the decade.