Astronaut Alan Shepard

58 years ago, Alan Shepard becomes first American in space

58 years ago, Alan Shepard was launched into history aboard a Mercury Redstone rocket (originally used by the U.S. Army for missiles), becoming the first American astronaut in space. On May 5, 1961, Shepard rocketed into space inside his Freedom 7 capsule. The sub-orbital flight, which lasted just over 15

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This day in history: Hubble launches, changing the way we see the Universe

29 years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope launched aboard STS-31. Almost immediately, it changed how we see and understand our universe. It’s namesake, Edwin Hubble, utilized the largest telescope of his day to discover new galaxies. The space telescope has done exactly as Hubble did, discovering galaxies beyond our own.

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Meet our T-38 Jets in Talon Park

Talons may seem like just another jet, but they have played a unique role in aviation and human spaceflight history. In fact, astronauts have a deep respect for the T-38. Why? Because before astronauts flew the shuttle, they practiced with a T-38. Talon Park at the entrance to Space Center

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Discover a historic Apollo artifact in our Talon Park

Did you know Talon Park at the entrance to Space Center Houston is home to a “boilerplate” Apollo capsule? NASA built “boilerplate” (BP) capsules, or nonfunctional craft that simulated the basic size and weight of command modules, as part of the Apollo program to test equipment and procedures prior to

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Yuri Gagarin

This day in history: Yuri Gagarin becomes first person in space

April 12 is a historic day. Not only is it the anniversary of the first shuttle mission, but it’s also the day Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. In 1961, Gagarin did the impossible. He launched off the Earth into space and successfully orbited the planet. The flight

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Apollo 13 Infographic: How did they make that CO2 scrubber?

In the movie Apollo 13, an engineer comes into a conference room and dumps a bunch of hardware onto a table. The goal? Fit a square peg into a round hole. The problem? After an explosion crippled the Apollo 13 spacecraft, the three astronauts went into the Lunar Module for

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Goddard, father of modern rocketry

Flashback Friday: Goddard launches first liquid-fuel rocket in 1926

On March 16, 1926, Robert Goddard set out to do the impossible. He became the first person to launch a liquid-fuel rocket 93 years ago. Igniting a dream Although liquid-fuel rockets are mainstream today, in Goddard’s time they were a brand-new concept. Solid materials, namely gunpowder, were used for rocket

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Mission Apollo Minute – Saturn V rocket

The Saturn V rocket was the fuel that put the Apollo program on the moon. The giant rocket clocked in with the following measurements: 363 feet tall, weighing 6.2 million pounds and generating 34.5 million newtons of thrust. The most powerful rocket that has ever flown was made up of

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This day in history: Friendship 7 launched

On Feb. 20, 1962, Friendship 7 launched. The mission made John Glenn the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. It also reestablished the United States as a contender in the heated space race.  Before Glenn made history, the Soviet Union led the space race. They had already launched Sputnik

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Astronaut Friday: Ronald McNair

In honor of Black History month, today’s Astronaut Friday post is dedicated to remembering a truly remarkable space pioneer, astronaut Ronald McNair. In 1984, McNair became the second African American in space aboard Challenger for STS 41-B, just months after Guion Bluford had become the first aboard STS-8. An accomplished

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