Space Shuttles

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2014

    SpaceX Rocket Explosion Keeps Space Community on Edge

    A SpaceX rocket exploded in the skies above McGregor, Texas, during a test flight on Saturday. Though a nonchalant Elon Musk waved the mishap with a short tweet acknowledging that "Rockets are tricky," the fact remains that explosions are scary and tend not to reflect well on companies. SpaceX is a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Remembering the Day Hubble Was Launched

    Mark Carreau covered NASA for the Houston Chronicle for more than 20 years. He started on the day the Challenger exploded - the editor told everyone on the metro desk to write a NASA story - and he stayed on the beat until he was laid off from the Chron a few years ago. Until then, he watched launc ... More >>

  • News

    April 24, 2014

    Houston's Space Problem: Johnson Space Center Has Lost Its Identity and Purpose

    With a rudderless NASA in charge, JSC has been lost in the shuffle.

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Houston Spaceport, Still in Planning Stages, Has Its First Customer

    If you thought trying to get app-based transportation approved here in Houston was tough, it'll be interesting to see how smoothly it goes developing a plan for commercial space flight. Space travel is higher on the list, we think, especially since a project --- a planned public-private partnership ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2013

    We Don't Get an Actual Shuttle, but We Get a Chance to Name a Fake One!

    Houston has long maintained a kind of inferiority complex. Even now after publications from coast to coast have proclaimed our surprising hipness, we still get things stuck in our craw. Case in point, not getting a space shuttle for Space Center Houston. Plagued by the insipid overuse of "Houston, w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    NASA's New Astronauts: Half Women, None Alive for the Moon Landing

    There was a generation of kids who grew up idolizing the astronauts. The men of the Mercury missions, the Apollo crews -- the guys who risked everything, put it all on the line to beat the Russians and launch into outer space. John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong -- these guys were national he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2013

    The 10th Anniversary Of The Shuttle Columbia Disaster: Worst Hoax Ever

    Today is the 10th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, which blew apart as it was gliding across Texas to a Florida landing. All seven crew members died, and Texans were poking around the Piney Woods for weeks looking for debris. NASA is keeping a low profile for the anniver ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2012

    Nerd Humor: NASA Gets Clever With "Why the World Didn't End" and Gangnam Style Parody Videos

    Nerds have a sense of humor and when those nerds also have cool toys and a desire to get people more interested in their world, they can come up with some pretty damn clever concoctions. In this case, the nerds in question are at our own Johnson Space Center where they have created a couple of video ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    5 Things The Shuttle Endeavour Needs To Do In Its Houston Layover

    NASA is trying to make a big PR splash with its crosscountry trip, of the retired shuttle Endeavour, including a nose-thumbing stopover of Houston, the city who didn't get a shuttle despite being the home of NASA. See Also: - Retired Shuttles: Houston Even Finished Behind McMinnville, Oregon - Eigh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    Houston's Consolation Prize: Space Shuttle Endeavour Gets A Conjugal Visit

    A little bit of Houston died last year when Atlantis returned from its final mission and NASA put the breaks on the space shuttle program. The wound was exacerbated by the announcement a few months prior that Houston would not become home to retired shuttle, but that New York and California would. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2012

    Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dead at 82: No, the Korean War Ace & Icy Test Pilot Did Not Tell a Blow-Job Joke on the Moon

    Sad news for NASA and its Houston family, as word has come down that the first man on our moon has died today. Armstrong was 82. Breaking News and NBC News reported the news over Twitter around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon Houston time. NASA has its own obit up now, too. Armstrong was a part of the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2011

    Endeavour Crew Stabs Houston in Back (Sorta) Over Getting a Retired Shuttle

    Mike Fincke: What can you expect from a Steeler fan?​Houston, still smarting over missing out on a retired space shuttle, now gets to hear NASA astronauts going on and on about how the decision was a great one. Members of the Endeavour crew were in Los Angeles recently to take part in the Cal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    An Amateur Lands The Space Shuttle

    Boyd MeierKym in the sim​Be sure to check out our pics from the Atlantis astronauts' homecoming at Johnson Space Center. You often hear the expression "a once in a lifetime experience," and while this may or may not always be true, for those lucky enough to participate in a NASA Tweet-up, not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    Shuttle Era Ends: A Look Back At Our Coverage

    Mission patch FAIL​With what we fervently hope is a flawless landing, the last mission of the space shuttle ends this morning when Atlantis touches down in Florida. The final flight evoked a lot of memories, and we tried our best to spark some. In case you missed our varied posts on Atlantis ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Atlantis Wake-Up Music So Far: Ranking The Good, The Bad & The Ugly On The Last Shuttle Trip

    What's with all the damn Coldplay?​NASA, always on the lookout for good publicity, has made a cottage industry out of the wake-up music it uses to rouse crews orbiting the earth. They recruit artists to record messages that are played after the song, because the first thing you want to hear ... More >>

  • News

    July 14, 2011

    The Shuttle's Souvenir Load

    20,000 flags and 10,000 patches aboard

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    15 Unfamous But Great Space Shuttle Photos

    Even if it's not today, at some point Atlantis will lift off and eventually finish the last of the space shuttle missions. There are plenty of famous, even iconic, NASA photographs of the program; we pulled some highlights of lesser-known ones. 15. Almost a rocket ship This makes the shuttle look ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    Shuttle Atlantis' Souvenir Load: 22,000 Flags, 10,000 Patches, A Very Small Painting And More

    Atlantis: Last chance for souvenirs​If you're making the last-ever trip on the space shuttle, you want to make it count. And if the list put together by is any indication, this last flight is taking along enough souvenirs to outfit a small army. Almost all the items are put ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    Shuttle Atlantis: Its 10 Weirdest Mission Patches

    In May, as it prepared to take off, we offered a list of the five coolest mission patches of the shuttle Endeavour. We wish we could do the same for the Atlantis, scheduled tentatively to go up on the last shuttle mission Friday, but it appears the ship did not provide as much inspiration as the En ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Cover Story: Austin Fires Back

    Feelings have been hurt​So I'd gotten up at 5 a.m. and spent the day at NASA's Mission Control, where along with about fifty other writers, talking heads and camera crews from Houston, New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, I'd been granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the final full- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    In Run-Up to Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch, NASA Allows Rare Peek Behind Mission Control Curtain

    Photos by Troy Fields​Check out our pictures of the final round of space shuttle simulation training at NASA's Mission Control. Space. If you are anything like me, you've probably started to take it for granted. Save for disasters like the Columbia explosion in 2003, the country as a whole no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Cover Story: Air Hockey Reigns Supreme (With Video)

    As the space shuttle program winds down, people will be reflecting on all the contributions to society NASA has made. Among them: Air hockey. The game was developed by NASA contractors, and it remains huge, especially in the Houston area. Our cover story this week, "Hover Boards," examines the ph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Latest Space Station Video: Someone Provide A Soundtrack, Please

    NASA released a nice photo yesterday of the shuttle Endeavour docked to the space station; today they've released the video. It's seven minutes or so of the shuttle attached to the station as they hurtle through space. It's also silent, and so it needs a soundtrack. Classical? Something by Yes or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    The 10 Coolest Shuttle Atlantis Pictures

    Next month will bring the final space shuttle mission ever, and the vehicle that will take that last ride will be the Atlantis. The Atlantis has taken 32 trips to space so far, and like every shuttle, stunning photographs have been part of the deal. Here are 10 of Atlantis' best. 10. Leaving that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2011

    Shuttle Endeavour in Hi-Def: Its Final Liftoff

    NASA has released hi-def video of the shuttle Endeavour's final liftoff, from cameras mounted at various points on the outside of the vehicle. Your tax dollars at work! Enjoy.

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Space Shuttle Endeavour: Its Five Coolest Mission Patches

    Monday, barring yet another delay, the space shuttle Endeavour will take off on its 25th and final mission. Each mission gets its own patch, of course, designed with input from the crew. The five coolest mission patches Endeavour has had: 5. STS-49, May 1992 Endeavour's inaugural flight paid tribu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2011

    TV Party: With The Shuttle Gone, Whither Space City?

    ​On the latest "Between The Lines" segment on CW 39's Newsfix, I unloaded about the horror of Houston not receiving a space shuttle, now that the NASA program is over with. Hopefully Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York will make do with these retired spacecraft. It's not like any of the ... More >>

  • News

    April 21, 2011
  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Space Shuttle Blues: County Commissioner Calls for a Congressional Investigation

    Answers are demanded, even though they're obvious.​You know what the Space Shuttle fiasco needs? Congress getting involved. At least that's the thinking of Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman. He's introducing a resolution at next week's meeting demanding Congress investigate "Nasa's deci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2011

    Space Shuttles: Ten Ways Los Angeles and New York Can Show Theirs Off, Dammit

    Bi-wing airplanes...pfft. Try this on for size, Kong.​This week, we learned that Houston, essentially the birthplace of the space shuttle program, will not be given one of the four remaining shuttles. Two of the four cities receiving them are both deserving and appropriate: Washington D.C. (fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Gabrielle Giffords: No Media Appearances If She Goes to Husband's Shuttle Launch

    Expected to go to Florida for shuttle launch.​Staffers for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recuperating here after her Tucson shooting, say she still plans to attend the April 29 launch of her husband's space shuttle mission. But if she does, there will be no press interviews or public stat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2011

    Astronaut Plays Jethro Tull Flute In Space

    Rocks Off has been trying to come up with a "space rock" joke all day, but we can't, so we'll just say this is pretty cool. Today we got an email from Austin nonprofit Dart Music International with a link to the above video, which premiered during SXSW. It's astronaut (and musician) Cady Coleman ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2011

    Gabrielle Giffords: Docs Say Progress Amazing, Though Shuttle Launch Trip No Done Deal

    John Nova LomaxThe doctors face the press for an upbeat update​U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords has her personality back, is speaking in full sentences and has made continuous neurological improvement, her team of TIRR Memorial Hermann doctors said at a news conference at the Texas Medical Center t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2011

    Retired Space Shuttles: Will Houston Get Shut Out?

    A space shuttle on display​Discovery has landed safely, ending its last mission of a long and fruitful career. It's expected to spend its retirement at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum branch in Virginia. Two other space shuttles are retiring this year -- the Endeavour and Atlantis -- and 2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    Space Cowboys: Big Head Todd Serenades Shuttle Crew

    ​If someone woke Rocks Off up at 2:30 in the morning with a Big Head Todd & the Monsters song, even the band themselves, we might have a few choice words for them. But we suppose it's a little different when you're 220 miles above the Earth. That's what happened earlier today (way earlier tod ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2011

    Discovery 's Last Take-Off: Some Wild Views

    NASA has put together an impressive montage of the last take-off of the space shuttle Discovery, using a wide range of cameras on the launch pad and the vehicle. There's about five minutes or so of preflight stuff here, so fast-forward if you prefer.

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Does the Challenger Explosion Only Resonate in Houston?

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2011

    Challenger Disaster, 25 Years Later: The Five Most Chilling Moments

    Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, a news event that remains so vivid -- especially to Houstonians -- that most everyone can remember where they were when they learned of it or when they first saw a replay of that launch, embedded above. That day and its aftermath trigger ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2010

    Space Shuttle Discovery: Five Notable Missions, For Better Or Worse

    Godspeed, Discovery‚ÄčThe space shuttle Discovery headed to the pad yesterday for its last trip into space.The 26-year-old craft has seen a lot in its career, some good, some bad, some odd. Here are five highlights:5. Being used as an old-folks' tour busIn 1998 Discovery took John Glenn up to space ... More >>

  • Calendar

    March 25, 2010

    Screen on the Green: Apollo 13

    Houston, ah, we have a big ass problem

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2008

    Take Our Shuttle Quiz And See If You're A Space Expert

    NASA is back in space, via a dramatic nighttime launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. The mission will expand and repair the International Space Station, and exchange out crew members. NASA has largely dropped from public consciousness -- at least until the "Mars, Bitches!!" program begins -- but ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2008

    A Blast From Calexico's Past Blasts Into Space

    Space, the final frontier, will be transformed into Calexico's "Crystal Frontier" Friday morning. Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle will be shaken from their slumber to the mariachi-rock of the Widescreen Remix of Calexico's classic cut from their 2001 EP Even My Sure Things Fall Through. And to ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 1, 2008

    Tom Jones

    The author of Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir definitely believes they put a man on the moon…it was him

  • Calendar

    December 13, 2007

    “Star Wars”

    Luke Skywalker and company land their starfighter at NASA

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2007

    Too Much Space

    When the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated in February 2003, all but paralyzing NASA, it presented the space agency with a very pressing problem: What were they going to do about the three guys stuck in space? The members of Expedition Six -- two Americans and a Russian -- had been orbiting in t ... More >>

  • Calendar

    April 6, 2006
  • News

    February 6, 2003

    Coming Down

    A "routine" shuttle descent winds up stunning Space City

  • News

    January 30, 2003

    Coming Down

    A "routine" shuttle descent winds up stunning Space City

  • Calendar

    February 28, 2002

    No Boosters Allowed

    Flight directory Chris Kraft has a story to tell

  • News

    August 13, 1998

    Space Odyssey

    Tom Moser wants to put Texas on the map as a commercial launch pad for cargo-carrying rockets

  • More >>