Mission Monday: Five fast facts about the first American in space

On May 5, 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space. 59 years ago, Shepard launched into space inside his Freedom 7 capsule. The sub-orbital flight lasted just over 15 minutes, traveled greater than 300 miles, and climbed to an altitude of over 116 miles above

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Mission Monday: ISS as a National Laboratory

The International Space Station was designated a “national lab” in 2005. In its 20 years of existence, some groundbreaking research has been done in its cozy confines. The work continues every day. With each crew launch and supply mission, new experiments and research is delivered to and from space. Back

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Expedition 63 launch.

Mission Monday: Two Space Station expeditions launch and land in April

This month two International Space Station missions launched and landed. Get a glimpse into Expedition 62 and 63 in this Mission Monday post! Expedition 63 launches to the International Space Station On April 9, the crew of Expedition 63 launched into space aboard their Soyuz spacecraft. Shortly after launch, the

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Mission Monday: Five fast facts about the first person in space

59 years ago, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launched on a historic mission. He journeyed where no one had before and returned safely home. He had just become the first person to orbit the Earth. April 12, 1961, Gagarin became the first person in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his

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The Mercury 7

Mission Monday: NASA announces Mercury 7, America’s first astronaut class

The Mercury 7 were America’s first class of astronauts. The class of 1959 was tasked with a monumental endeavor – be the first American astronauts to travel into space. Project Mercury Project Mercury, NASA’s first crewed space program, aimed to achieve NASA’s plan to send the first astronauts into space.

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NASA's new astronauts

Mission Monday: Meet NASA’s new astronauts!

NASA added 11 new astronauts to its ranks in January. Get to know these scientists, engineers, doctors, and pilots in this week’s Mission Monday! Five women and six men comprise NASA’s graduating astronaut class of 2020. This new class brings NASA’s current count of active astronauts in their corps to

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HERA XXI analog egress

Mission Monday: Preparing people to go to the Moon and beyond with Artemis

NASA once again set its eyes on the Moon, but the road back won’t be easy. A team of NASA researchers and scientists are figuring out how to best prepare astronauts for these longer duration missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. NASA’s Artemis program seeks to land the first

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Mission Monday: Gemini 8 and Agena, the first docking with an uncrewed spacecraft

On this day in 1966, Neil Armstrong and David Scott made history when they successfully docked Gemini 8 with the Agena target vehicle in space. This marked the first docking with an uncrewed spacecraft in Earth orbit. Nestled in between NASA’s Mercury and Apollo programs, Gemini (1965-1966) focused on testing

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Mission Monday: Pioneer 4 becomes first American spacecraft to travel beyond Earth orbit

Since opening its doors in 1958, one of the core objectives of NASA has been to explore worlds beyond our own. On March 3, 1959, the young space agency achieved a thrilling milestone when it launched Pioneer 4, the first American spacecraft to travel beyond Earth orbit. Not long after

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Saturn V launch

Mission Monday: Apollo-Saturn 201 flight debuts Saturn IB rocket

On the pathway to the Moon, there were more small steps than Neil Armstrong’s off the Lunar Module on July 20, 1969. NASA also had to step its way up to the Saturn V rocket. One of those steps was called the Saturn IB. On Feb. 26, 1966, the first

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