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Last Mercury Mission

MA-9 Featured Image

Fifty-three years ago today, NASA Astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper successfully returned to the Earth following a 22-orbit mission. Designated Mercury-Atlas No. 9 (MA-9), Cooper’s flight was the last orbital space mission of the Mercury Program. The final mission of the Mercury Program began with lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Rescuing Skylab

Skylab Featured Image

Forty-three years ago this month, astronauts Pete Conrad, Joe Kerwin and Paul Weitz became the first NASA crew to fly aboard the recently-orbited Skylab space station. Not only would the crew establish a new record for time in orbit, they would effect critical repairs to America’s first space station which… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Freedom Seven

Freedom 7 Featured Image

Fifty-five years ago this week, United States Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. became the first American to be launched into space. Shepard named his Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7. Officially designated as Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) by NASA, the mission was America’s first true attempt to put a man into space.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

We Seven


Fifty-seven years ago this month, NASA held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to introduce the seven men selected to be Project Mercury Astronauts. They would become known as the Mercury Seven or Original Seven. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight program. The overall objective of Project Mercury was… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: Lady Be Good

LBG Featured Image_filtered

Seventy-three years ago this month, a USAAF/Consolidated B-24D Liberator and her crew vanished upon return from their first bombing mission over Italy. Known as the Lady Be Good, the hulk of the ill-fated aircraft was found sixteen years later lying deep in the Libyan desert more than 400 miles south… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

First Space Shuttle Mission

STS-1 Featured Image

Thirty-five years ago today, the United States successfully launched the Space Shuttle Columbia into orbit around the Earth. It was the maiden flight of the Nation’s Space Transportation System (STS). The Space Shuttle was unlike any manned space vehicle ever flown. A giant aircraft known as the Orbiter was side-mounted… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

First Air-Launched Orbital Mission

PegSat Featured Image

Twenty-five years ago today, the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) orbited a PegSat satellite using the then-new Pegasus 3-stage launch vehicle. This historic event marked the first successful implementation of the air-launched satellite launcher concept. The concept of air-launch dates back to the 1940’s and the early days of United States… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

SCRAMJET Flight Milestone

HX FLT II Featured Image

Twelve years ago this month, the NASA X-43A scramjet-powered flight research vehicle reached a record speed of over 4,600 mph (Mach 6.83). The test marked the first time in the annals of aviation that a flight-scale scramjet accelerated an aircraft in the hypersonic Mach number regime. NASA initiated a technology… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

First Space Emergency

Gemini 8 Featured Image

Fifty years ago this month, the crew of Gemini VIII successfully regained control of their tumbling spacecraft following failure of an attitude control thruster. The incident marked the first life-threatening on-orbit emergency and resulting mission abort in the history of Amercian manned spaceflight. Gemini VIII was the sixth manned mission… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Operation Heat Rise

Convair B-58A refueled during Operation Heat Rise. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fifty-four years ago this month, a USAF/Convair B-58A Hustler from the 43rd Bomb Wing at Carswell AFB, Texas set a trio of transcontinental speed records in a round trip from Los Angeles to New York and back. This historic feat was accomplished as part of Operation Heat Rise. The USAF/Convair… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History