Retired NASA astronaut reflects on two Shuttle missions, future of human spaceflight

Two visits to low Earth orbit have forever changed the outlook on life for former NASA astronaut Byron Lichtenberg. Even though he’s now retired form the space agency’s astronaut corps, he’s still using those experiences to inspire the next generation of aerospace professionals. As a professor at LeTourneau University, he’s currently working with students to…

NASA opens $5M Apollo mission control room restoration for public tours

As the country marks 50 years since the history-making Apollo 11 moon landing, visitors to Space Center Houston are getting an inside look at the landmark that helped make the ‘giant leap’ possible. Three weeks ago, NASA and Space Center Houston unveiled a $5 million dollar renovation of Mission Operations Control Room 2, which was…

East Texas students to make radio call to NASA astronauts aboard space station

This month students from Huntington High School will have a rare opportunity to chat directly with the crew of the International Space Station. Seven students who have obtained their Amateur Radio or “ham” licenses from the Federal Communications Commission will participate in the event with astronauts in space. After submitting a proposal to Amateur Radio…

A pioneer of spaceflight, Ellen Ochoa set to retire from NASA

After a 30-year career with NASA, Dr. Ellen Ochoa is retiring as director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston at the end of May. On Thursday, May 17, I had the great privilege of attending the retirement celebration for the administrator, engineer, and astronaut. Listening to former crew mates, NASA colleagues, and family friends…

Hemphill, on the Fifteenth Anniversary

Originally posted on Bringing Columbia Home:
I’m at a loss to describe what an incredibly powerful day we had in Hemphill, Texas, on this the fifteenth anniversary of the Columbia accident. We spent Wednesday night at the Fin and Feather Resort on the Toledo Bend Reservoir six miles south of Hemphill. (This was the base…

E. Texas high school experiment rocketing to International Space Station

A SpaceX rocket carrying an East Texas high school’s science project is heading to the International Space Station. An experiment created by Bullard High School students was launched Tuesday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. 6,400 pounds of science experiments, supplies, and equipment were launched aboard the SpaceX CRS-12, a commercial…

Astronaut carries friends’ wedding rings to Space

This Summer a special couple will receive a wedding gift that’s truly out of this world. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who has been aboard the International Space Station since November, posted photo to social media of two wedding rings floating in micro gravity. The flight engineer from France tweeted that he carried in…

Police: Rocket debris washes ashore on Texas beach

Debris that washed ashore along the south Texas coast has been identified as part of a rocket, according to law enforcement. A police officer made the discovery last week while investigating a report of possible airplane or boat debris being found at a Brazoria County beach. The large rectangular object is believed to be debris…

‘Virus hunter’ astronaut shares details of science mission to Space Station

In July, a self-proclaimed ‘virus hunter’ astronaut will launch aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station, embarking on a four month, science-intensive assignment to the orbiting laboratory. NASA’s Kate Rubins is counting down the days until the scheduled July 6 launch of Expedition 48/49, which will be the first spaceflight for the molecular…

New spacecraft named after astronaut killed in E. Texas space shuttle tragedy

The next cargo spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station will bear the name of an American astronaut killed in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy over East Texas. An Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft bearing the name S.S. Rick Husband will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on March 22. Husband served as commander of…

NASA unveils flashy, futuristic new look for spacesuit prototype

NASA is ready to unveil the design of their next-generation spacesuit prototype. Wednesday, the space agency will reveal the winner of a contest on their website put the decision to a public vote. The futuristic Z-2 suit will make future missions possible to asteroids or the surface of other planets. Some of the improvements under…

Online contest will pick NASA’s futuristic new spacesuit design

NASA is leaving the design of their next-generation spacesuit prototype up to the public. A contest on the space agency’s website puts three designs up for a vote, with a fully-functional model to be built by November. The NASA Z-2 suit is a follow up to the Z-1, which Time Magazine named ‘one of the best inventions…

NASA spacesuit designer reveals changes to new ‘pumpkin suit’

NASA’s aging stock of spacesuits is coming under great scrutiny as the space agency investigates the near-drowning of an astronaut. Wednesday, an investigation board released its report on the July 2013 incident involving a water leak in Italian astronaut’s Luca Parmitano’s helmet. More than a liter of liquid pooled around Parmitano’s eyes, nose and ears,…

Next-gen NASA spacecraft to visit E. Texas on cross-country road trip

A test version of the Orion capsule left NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia early Thursday on the bed of an 18-wheeler, headed for California. The four-week road trip will make stops in Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before an early January arrival in San Diego, California. A map showing the convoy’s…