June 11, 1995 |
In Building 4708, where NASA built moon rockets 30 years ago, the future is arriving--finally. This is a future constructed of metal and graphite, 31,030 pounds and counting. As yet, it has no name; for now, they call it Alpha, because the believers say this is just the beginning of the Next Big Step into space. This is it--the international space station. Finally, after years of debate and design, NASA's pipe dream is taking shape. "That there is the first U.S.
September 20, 2011 |
If NASA ever wants to send astronauts to Mars, it first must solve a problem that has nothing to do with rockets or radiation exposure. A newly discovered eye condition found to erode the vision of some astronauts who have spent months aboard the International Space Station has doctors worried that future explorers could go blind by the end of long missions, such as a multiyear trip to Mars. Although blindness is the worst-case scenario, the threat of blurred vision is enough that NASA has asked scores of researchers to study the issue and has put special eyeglasses on the space station to help those affected.
April 6, 2010 |
Space shuttle Discovery roared into orbit Monday, curving over the horizon just before sunrise as it headed out on one of NASA's final orbiter missions to the International Space Station. The liftoff leaves three remaining launches as the agency races to stock the space station before the fleet is retired this year. Discovery is carrying 8 tons of cargo and science equipment for the station's laboratories. The 13-day mission, dubbed the Experiment Express, has three planned spacewalks to install a fresh ammonia tank assembly for the lab's coolant system and retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station's exterior.
June 7, 1998 |
Sometime next year, a cargo ship docked to Mir will fire its rocket engine one last time and send the deserted space station on a suicidal dive over the North Pacific. For NASA, the end can't come quickly enough. With shuttle visits almost over, U.S. space officials want over-the-hill Mir out of the way so their Russian counterparts can devote their scarce resources to the stalled international space station.
June 1, 2012 |
About 563 miles west of Baja California, SpaceX's Dragon space capsule successfully splashed down after spending nine days in outer space. When the unmanned cone-shaped capsule hit the water at 8:42 a.m. Pacific time Thursday, it marked the end of a historic mission carried out by the Hawthorne company officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. It was the first privately built and operated spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. "Welcome home, baby," said Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and chief executive, in a news briefing from company headquarters.
May 17, 1998 |
As if construction delays and rising costs weren't enough, NASA is grappling with another space station dilemma: What to call it? The international space station has no name other than International Space Station or ISS for short--the usual NASA alphabet soup. Station managers want a real name. Astronauts really want a real name. And public affairs types really, really want something catchier than ISS, pronounced letter by letter: I-S-S. "It's another NASA acronym, isn't it?"
March 2, 2012 |
At a launchpad in Cape Canaveral sits a spaceship atop an 18-story rocket that NASA officials hope will be the first privately built craft to dock with the International Space Station. On Thursday, the company that manufactures the spacecraft, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., performed a successful launch readiness test for its upcoming flight - an important step on the road to the space station. The company, better known as SpaceX, posted the news on its Twitter page about fueling its Falcon 9 rocket with rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen as it stood vertical at its launch complex.
August 18, 2011 |
Hawthorne-based rocket venture Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, is planning to send a rocket to dock with the International Space Station later this year — a test mission that takes the company one step closer to cashing in on a $1.6-billion contract with NASA. In a statement, SpaceX revealed that the space agency has approved an unmanned mission in which its Dragon space capsule would dock with the space station. "NASA has given us a Nov. 30, 2011, launch date, which should be followed nine days later by Dragon berthing at the ISS," the company said.
August 4, 2012 |
On a cloudless morning, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stood at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. — where the U.S. dominated human spaceflight for half a century — and revealed plans for the space agency's next chapter. On Friday, NASA handed out $1.1 billion in contracts to three companies to privately develop a new generation of spacecraft that could one day ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Now that the space shuttle fleet has been retired, NASA has no way to travel to the space station other than shelling out $63 million each time one of its astronauts rides on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2001 |
Capt. William Shepherd, the first commander of the international space station, retired Friday from the Navy, ending a 30-year career capped by 141 days in space. Astronauts who succeeded Shepherd aboard space station Alpha called from orbit to wish their NASA colleague well during a retirement ceremony at the San Diego Aerospace Museum. "Your impacts on this space station are everywhere," Dominic Gorie said from 220 miles above the Earth.