NASA launches new Orion spacecraft and new era

(AP)—NASA's new Orion spacecraft zoomed toward a high point of 3,600 miles (5,800 kilometers) on an orbital test flight Friday, ushering in a new era of exploration that could one day put people on Mars.

Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, ...

Countdown as SpaceX, NASA prepare to test new astronaut capsule

NASA and SpaceX counted down Saturday to the launch of a new astronaut capsule on a week-long trip to the International Space Station and back—a key step towards resuming manned space flights from US soil after an eight-year ...

The 'camera that saved Hubble' turns 25

Twenty-five years ago this week, NASA held its collective breath as seven astronauts on space shuttle Endeavour caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope 353 miles (568 kilometers) above Earth. Their mission: to fix a devastating ...

SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space.

The rockets that are pushing the boundaries of space travel

Friday morning at 5:42 am (0942 GMT), a rocket owned by the US company SpaceX will blast off from Florida carrying two and a half tons of gear from NASA, only to dock three days later and 250 miles (400 kilometers) above ...

SpaceX postpones next-gen rocket launch

With less than a minute before launch Thursday, SpaceX aborted the liftoff of its new Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, which the California-based company promises to be more powerful and easier to re-use.

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