New launch communications segment empowers Artemis

As Artemis astronauts lift off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, new ground systems will provide them with the communications links needed to ensure safety and mission success.

Spacewalk excursion to extend the life of a powerful spectrometer

One of the largest human-made permanent magnets in space resides on the International Space Station (ISS), and it's helping scientists better understand the origins of our universe. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) ...

NASA and SpaceX hope for manned mission to ISS in early 2020

SpaceX could launch US astronauts to the International Space Station as early as next year if tests on the company's long-delayed Crew Dragon capsule prove conclusive, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday.

Dusty vacuums may be astronauts' biggest health risk

Human lungs have proven to be remarkably adaptable to life in space, but dust may their biggest challenge, even greater than the lack of gravity, according to a leading aerospace medicine expert, writing in the Medical Journal ...

Video: The latest look at 'first light' from Chandra

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured many spectacular images of cosmic phenomena over its two decades of operations, but perhaps its most iconic is the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A.

Spaceflight consistently affects the gut

A new Northwestern University study discovered that spaceflight—both aboard a space shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS)—has a consistent effect on the gut microbiome

Chandra X-ray observatory celebrates its 20th anniversary

On July 23, 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the two decades that have passed, Chandra's powerful and unique X-ray eyes have contributed ...

The exploration of space in 10 key dates

From the Soviet Union's pioneering satellite to the first man on the Moon 50 years ago, here are 10 key dates in space exploration.

page 1 from 23

Space Shuttle

NASA's Space Shuttle, officially named the Space Transportation System (STS), is the spacecraft currently used by the United States government for its human spaceflight missions and is scheduled to be retired from service in 2010. At launch, it consists of a rust-colored external tank (ET), two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the orbiter, which is a winged spaceplane in the narrowest sense.

The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 22,700 kilograms (50,000 lb). When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere. During the descent, the shuttle orbiter decelerates from hypersonic speed primarily by aerobraking and then for the landing phase it acts as a glider, making a completely unpowered (deadstick) landing.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA