Endeavour’s Final Final Flight

Nasa’s fifth and final Space Shuttle, Endeavour, following in the footsteps of Discovery, undertook a farewell fly-over yesterday atop a modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft over numerous west coast landmarks including the shuttle’s future home, the California Science Center.  Here it is flying over the Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome in Houston [Image credit: Nasa]. As the JPL press release said Endeavour holds a special place in the hearts of many at JPL. After all, this is the shuttle orbiter that JPLers have had … Read more

Discovery’s Final Final Flight

Having completed its final mission last February, yesterday the Space Shuttle Discovery took off from the Kenedy Space Centre for the last time on the way to its final destination – the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  During the flight, piggy-backing on a modified Boeing 747 (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft NASA 905), Discovery took in the sights at Washington DC at an altitude of about 1,500ft (457m).  The Guardian has a number of images from the US capital … Read more

Riding the Boosters

Stunning images, and enhanced sound, in this video from Nasa of the view from the space shuttle’s solid rocket boosters as they push the shuttle up into orbit, and then fall back down to Earth. Enjoy! As the Guardian’s GrrlScientist says The number in the upper right hand corner is airspeed. The glint of light against the backdrop of space at 2:08 and 3:11 is the Space Shuttle going into low Earth orbit. These sounds were cleaned up and made more audible by … Read more

Space Shuttle Time Lapse

Stunning time lapse footage from orbit with the Space Shuttles Discovery and Atlantis foregrounding a magnificent view.  Via the NasaExplorer channel.   Segment 1: NASA’s Shuttle Discovery (STS131), while docked to the ISS, captured these images on April 12, 2010 as it moved from the night side of the Earth to the daytime. In the process the Aurora Borealis can be seen on the Earth’s limb. A solar panel from the ISS and a docked Soyuz module can be seen in … Read more

Space Shuttle’s Final Launch

If the weather clears, and currently the weather is a “go”, Nasa’s Space Shuttle Atlantis will launch from the Kennedy Space Centre at 4.26pm [BST].  It’s the end of the Space Shuttle era.  Follow events at Nasa’s launch blog, or via the BBC online, as well as the usual NasaTV coverage. Or, even, here! Broadcasting Live with Ustream Pete Baker

The end of the Space Shuttle era

Atlantis is scheduled to launch on Nasa’s final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135, on Friday at 4.26pm [BST] to bring to an end the 30-year-long Space Shuttle era – weather permitting.  In fact, there’s currently only a 30% chance that the weather will be suitable for launch.  While you’re waiting you can check out Nasa’s Space Shuttle Era website.  Or read the BBC’s Spaceman, Jonathan Amos, on one of the private companies taking over the role played by the Shuttle – Orbital Sciences Corporation.  … Read more

Endeavour’s last visit to the International Space Station

The BBC flagged up the stunning first-ever detailed image of a Space Shuttle docked at the International Space Station – Endeavour’s final voyage.  Now NasaTV have released the video.  The video was shot by European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that undocked from the station on May 23. He, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman were departing the station for a return to Earth after five months on the station. Nespoli documented the … Read more

Endeavour’s Final Voyage – Redux

The scheduled April launch was scrubbed due to technical problems, but the final preparations are underway for the 25th and final launch, after 19 years in service, of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-134.  Launch is scheduled for 1.56pm [BST].  Via the NASAKennedy channelAnd a reminder that Endeavour’s final cargo, for the International Space Station, includes a 7-tonne particle physics experiment – the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).  And the AMS channel provides this informative Nasa overview of the experiment.As usual, there’s the launch blog and live … Read more

Endeavour’s Final Voyage

Following the final flight of Discovery, the next Nasa Space Shuttle to be retired, after 19 years of service, will be Endeavour. But first there’s the not insignificant matter of its 25th, and final, flight – Mission STS-134.  Lift-off is scheduled for 1547 local time (1947 GMT; 2047 BST) from the Kennedy Space Centre.  And via the NASAKennedy channel Endeavour’s final cargo, for the International Space Station, includes a 7-tonne particle physics experiment – the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).  And the AMS channel … Read more

Final Flight of Discovery

After a number of postponements due to technical problems, the Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to lift-off for the last time from the Kennedy Space Centre tonight at 9.50pm [GMT]. After 38 missions to date and more than 5,600 trips around the Earth, it’s the final flight of Discovery – on Mission STS-133.  They’re heading to the International Space Station where ESA’s ATV Johannes Kepler has just docked. Discovery will become the first shuttle to be retired.  Only two Space Shuttle missions remain scheduled – Endeavour on … Read more

“One small step for [a] man…”

Last year saw the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11.  Four days later, on 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon.  And, as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered, the evidence is still there. The BBC have some clips online, including this fascinating interview with Neil Armstrong from The Sky at Night in 1970. And, looking forward, the BBC’s Spaceman blog has a post on a potential compromise over President Obama’s proposed new policy for Nasa, the Nasa … Read more

Last Flight of Atlantis

After almost 25 years in service, at 7.20pm [BST] tonight Nasa’s Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift-off from Kennedy Space Center on its last ever flight – Mission STS-132.  There’s Nasa’s launch blog and the usual online NasaTV coverage. Only two more missions remain in the Space Shuttle programme. Meanwhile Congress continues to hear from opponents of US President Obama’s new policy for Nasa, including, in a rare public appearance, moonwalker Neil Armstrong. Adds Via NASAtelevision And perhaps I should have said First Last Flight…  … Read more