The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 6: The Launch! By now, we all know that Atlantis launched successfully today, June 8, 2011 from Canaveral. There was some time there where it looked like it wouldn’t launch due to weather, but with the clock continuing to count down and the skies gradually clearing, it was decided to push forward and light…

The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 5: On site! Well I’m here! I have spent the past 24 hours in and around Kennedy Space Center, getting the VIP tour and seeing things that I have only dreamt of… the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Crawler-Transporter, the Causeway…and, of course, the launch pad with the final shuttle, Atlantis, ready and waiting for…

‘An Incredible Vehicle’

More photos of Atlantis – the final shuttle – can be seen on Universe Today here. Photographer Michael Deep is on location at Kennedy Space Center covering the launch, slated for Friday, July 8. (Oh, and I’ll be there too.) 🙂 “For those of you who have ever had the opportunity to just stand underneath…

Our Future in Space

Just because the shuttle program will soon come to a close doesn’t mean the era of human spaceflight is over…

The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 4: Fueling the Anticipation The launch of the space shuttle Atlantis is less than a week away, and with it the NASA Tweetup event of a lifetime. (Well, my lifetime anyway!) But it’s not just me who’s been having visions of shuttle plumes dancing in his head… there’s 149 other space tweeps (yes, that’s…

The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 3: A Dedication Due to family needs I’ve had to come to Florida a bit earlier than planned… my stepdad passed away on the morning of June 28 after a long and difficult fight with cancer. I wasn’t able to get here in time to see him before he died, but I’m helping my…

An Astronaut’s View of Earth

Can’t see the video below? Click here. This really is a must-see… it’s a video by NASA TV showing our planet as it is experienced by the privileged few who have flown in space and spent time aboard the International Space Station. Looking down on the landscapes of our world from orbit, passing 225 miles…

Up, Up and Away!

The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Cape Canaveral for the final time on the morning of Monday, May 16 2011, and quickly pierced through the low cloud cover, disappearing from view for many observers on the ground but not for those high above in a NASA weather reconnaissance aircraft! They had quite the view…

30 Years, 133 Launches, 133 Seconds

In honor of the end of NASA’s shuttle program (with only two flights remaining) CNN videographers have assembled a wonderful montage of the 133 launches over the past 30 years and put them together in the video below. Check it out! (There may be a brief advertisement at the beginning…that’s embedded in the CNN video.)…

Recycling the Empties

During a shuttle launch, the two white solid rocket boosters (SRB’s) attached to the main orange tank detach first* and fall back to Earth, landing in the Atlantic. These are retrieved by NASA ships and ferried back to be refurbished and refilled for the next mission…a process that requires the efforts of many experienced professionals,…

Dock of the Day

At 2:14pm EST today the space shuttle Discovery successfully docked with the International Space Station, 220 miles above Australia. This will be the last time Discovery will visit the space station, indeed the last time it will fly at all in its long and illustrious career. The image above was pulled from live video feed…

Discovery: Lighting Up the Night

Looking quite regal on Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A, Discovery gets lit up by powerful xenon lamps in this animation made from live video feed images taken on the night before her final launch. As of this writing the shuttle liftoff is on schedule for 4:50pm EST on Thursday, February 24. The images above were…