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Sally Ride, 1951 - 2012

Bill Nye • July 23, 2012

Sally Ride changed the world. We are very sorry to hear of her recent death after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. Dr. Ride was an excellent astronaut, a remarkable educator, and a longtime Planetary Society friend and adviser.

Nearly the last view of Endeavour with its life-blood flowing

Ben Cooper • April 08, 2012

After 12 years of photographing the space shuttle, and even getting to work for NASA as a photographer for the final three years of the program, I never had the privilege of going inside the cockpit until the program was over.

How to move a shuttle across Los Angeles

Emily Lakdawalla • November 14, 2011

Ever since the space shuttle Endeavour was awarded to the California Science Center I've been curious about the question of how they will ever get a shuttle from Los Angeles International Airport across more than 10 miles of densely developed city land in the United States to Endeavour's eventual home in Exposition Park.

Beginning of the post-shuttle era

Jason Davis • July 21, 2011

At 5:57AM EDT (9:57 UTC) this morning, Atlantis gracefully rolled to a stop on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center Landing Facility, completing the 135th and final mission of the space shuttle program that started in 1981.

What a Day! From Earth to the Moon and Mars

Bill Nye • July 21, 2011

Mission accomplished! It's been thirty great years for the Space Shuttle program. With this venerable space vehicle retired, it's on to the next adventure.

Your guide to a shuttle landing

Jason Davis • July 19, 2011

The final installment of my three-part series on the basics of shuttle launches and landings. Part III: de-orbiting, re-entering and landing.

In Focus retrospective on the shuttle program

Emily Lakdawalla • July 01, 2011

Since jumping from the Boston Globe to the Atlantic with his signature galleries of striking images, Alan Taylor has continued to regularly feature space-themed photos. This week his In Focus feature looks back at the shuttle program with 61 images -- check it out!

Historic Final Flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Ken Kremer • June 15, 2011

After a 16 day journey of more than sixteen million miles, Space Shuttle Endeavour and her six man crew glided to a safe nighttime landing at 2:35 a.m. EDT on June 1 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I watched from close by the shuttle landing strip as the ghostly ship flew past, preceded by shocking twin sonic booms.

Shuttle LIFE Organisms Return from Space

Bruce Betts • June 09, 2011

In the middle of the night on June 1, 2011, millions of passengers returned safely to Earth as part of the great conclusion to space shuttle Endeavour's last flight, STS-134. Many of those millions of passengers were part of the Planetary Society's Shuttle LIFE experiment. Five different kinds of creatures from all three domains of life are part of Shuttle LIFE.

We did it -- Shuttle LIFE launches!

Bill Nye • May 16, 2011

Today at 8:56 a.m. EDT, Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, and we are part of this historic moment!

Congratulations to the California Science Center on getting Space Shuttle Endeavour!

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2011

Space exploration is an international endeavor and I usually try to speak as a citizen of Earth rather than one of my nation, state, or city, but I'm going to ask you to indulge me in a little local boosterism today.

What's up in the solar system in April 2011

Emily Lakdawalla • March 31, 2011

April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.

Phobos LIFE gets a ride on Endeavour as Shuttle LIFE!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2011

The Planetary Society is contributing this thing called the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) to Russia's Phobos sample return mission -- it's basically a sealed puck with dormant microbes inside that'll fly to Mars and back in the return capsule, and biologists will take a look to see what damage the little bugs suffered during their space journey.

Uranus and Challenger

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2011

In the past week there have been 25th anniversaries of two events in 1986, one great, one terrible: the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus on January 24, and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger upon liftoff on January 28.

Discovery Launch Scrubbed, Again

Mat Kaplan • November 05, 2010

The launch has been scrubbed once again due to a critical hydrogen leak detected once fueling had been underway for a while.

Days of Downs and Ups

Mat Kaplan • November 04, 2010

Discovery has suffered an electrical problem related to one of the main engines. Thanks to delays related to that, and to weather concerns, the launch was scrubbed until Friday at 3:04pm.

Discovery Launch at T-22 Hours: A Study in Contrasts and Enthusiasm

Mat Kaplan • November 02, 2010

Mat Kaplan is at the Kennedy Space Center, 22 hours before shuttle Discovery is due to launch. Parts of the KSC are old and uncared for, while others are at the bleeding edge of space-flight technology.

Space Shuttle: Not Designed by Hollywood

Mat Kaplan • November 02, 2010

A brief musing on the public opinion of the shuttle when it was first unveiled, and now, as it's about to be retired.

There is something about the space shuttle...

Mat Kaplan • November 01, 2010

Mat Kaplan relays his experiences and thoughts as he makes his way to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of the shuttle Discovery.

Venus, and the Moon, and Atlantis, and ISS, and Magellan

Pam Chadbourne • May 14, 2010

Pam Chadbourne, one of the many engineers who made the Magellan Radar Mapper mission possible, sent this note out to Magellan team members this morning, and graciously permitted me to post it here.

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