SpaceX Was Not The First Private Rocket Company

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk must be pretty happy right now. His other major venture, SpaceX, has just succeeded in a monumental first: the first docking of a private spacecraft, the Dragon, to the International Space Station. Up to now, docking a craft, even an unmanned one, has only been accomplished by some big… » 5/29/12 4:00pm 5/29/12 4:00pm

You Can Own This Space Shuttle Food Truck

Calling this thing a "food truck" isn't really accurate. It's really an actual WWII veteran DC-3 that was built onto a GMC chassis for street use in 1976, then had a full commercial kitchen built into it in 2001. Then it was painted to look like the Space Shuttle, since just being a drivable airplane with a kitchen… » 5/18/12 3:00pm 5/18/12 3:00pm

Test Inches Mach 5.5 UK Spaceplane Closer To Reality

Skylon, in development by the British company Reaction Engines, would be the Holy-Grail-meets-cold-fusion of space travel, a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane powered by the Sabre engine, which is both a jet and a rocket. While typical Skylon spaceports still belong to a hazy future, a recent test of the Sabre engine » 5/01/12 10:00am 5/01/12 10:00am

Watch Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Flight As America Records It

Today, the Space Shuttle Discovery flies over the Capitol of the great nation that birthed it on the way to its very last home — the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex in Northern Virginia. Here's what the shuttle's final flight looked like — both through the camera lens of professional photographer… » 4/17/12 10:59am 4/17/12 10:59am

This Is What It Looks Like To Jump From 13.6 Miles Above Earth

Our planet never seems more beautiful than from a distance. Extreme jumper Felix Baumgartner brought back this amazingly distant view — from 71,580 feet above the surface — before jumping out of his space capsule and hurtling home at 365 mph in his quest to hit supersonic speeds without an aircraft. » 3/16/12 10:00am 3/16/12 10:00am

The Forgotten Female Cosmonauts Who Beat Sally Ride Into Space

Today is International Women's Day, and yesterday was the birthday of Valentina Tereshkova. It's ok to admit you don't know who that is. Despite beating Sally K. Ride (and many men) into space by 20 years, Tereshkova and her comrade Svetlana Savitskaya are probably most notably remembered in a souvenir apron bearing… » 3/08/12 2:45pm 3/08/12 2:45pm

This Swiss Satellite Is Like A Roomba For Space

Space junk is a serious if little-appreciated problem. Dead satellites, spent booster rockets, and other orbiting technical garbage place active satellites and manned craft in significant peril. In a culturally appropriate effort, the Swiss Space Center is launching the CleanSpace program to tidy up low-earth orbit. » 2/15/12 4:30pm 2/15/12 4:30pm

How To Fly A Soyuz Space Capsule

Here's the situation: You wake up, dazed, and find yourself floating weightlessly in the cramped confines of a Soyuz orbital module, possibly the victim of a prank by wealthy, well-connected friends — or maybe some espionage plot. Maybe you owe money to some powerful Russians. Who knows — maybe you even planned it.… » 2/08/12 3:00pm 2/08/12 3:00pm