Why the first American woman in space will be remembered forever.
Heroes of Space: Svetlana K Savitskaya
Savitskaya paved the way for female cosmonauts
SPONSORED: The true story of how the first flight of the Space Shuttle nearly ended in disaster
With a foreword by the astronaut who actually flew her, Into the Black is the complete and truly nail-biting story of the first-ever Space Shuttle, told better than ever before
An interview with bestselling author Rowland White
All About Space caught up with the writer to find out more about his latest book, Into the Black – the gripping story of the Space Shuttle’s challenging maiden flight
VIDEO: This is what happened when the Space Shuttle fired its thrusters in space
It created a bit of a bumpy ride for the astronauts inside!
Ride with the Space Shuttle in this mind-blowing video
See and hear what it’s like to lift off with NASA’s low Earth orbital spacecraft system
FREE PREVIEW: All About Space issue 52
We uncover what could have existed before the birth of the universe in the latest issue
New Horizons Update: Spacecraft discovers possible “icebergs” on Pluto
The nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appear to carry an intriguing cargo: numerous, isolated hills that may be fragments of water ice
VIDEO: Watch 135 Space Shuttle launches at the same time
Every single launch of NASA’s iconic orbital spacecraft can be seen simultaneously in this stunning compilation
VIDEO: Watch Space Shuttle Atlantis do a backflip above Earth
In 2008, the shuttle performed acrobatics in order to dock successfully with the Space Station
Can manned spacecraft survive the Earth’s radiation belts?
We find out if our planet’s radiation belts are as deadly as they sound
Is it possible for today’s fighter jets to pass into space?
We find out if it’s possible to fly a fighter jet into space
Starmus 2014: “I’m very sad that the Space Shuttle has gone into retirement,” says Brian May
Queen guitarist Brian May speaks of his sadness about the end of the Space Shuttle Program, over three years after it ended
How can we fold out structures in space without them breaking?
With no air in space, do engineers have to take more care? We take a look…
Gravity: The science behind the movie
Kevin Grazier, the science advisor for Alfonso Cuarón’s new sci-fi thriller Gravity, talks about the concepts behind the movie and explains why they’re not that far removed from real life.
The testing of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and many other similar projects in various states of development means that we are about to enter an era of commercial spaceflight.
This will bring about huge changes in the aerospace industry, which has prompted the European Space Agency (ESA) to look at how it should respond to this new environment. Being only able to help and fund commercial suborbital spaceplane projects in Europe, ESA has proposed the construction of a generic European “Cryogenic Sub-orbital Spacecraft”.
ESA looked at three different reusable spaceplane concepts that could use the Vinci rocket engine that is currently being developed as an upper stage rocket for their Ariane launch vehicle. The first had a conventional tail assembly and wings, the second had a forward canard, wings and butterfly tail assembly, and the third had a canard and winglets.
The ESA report favoured the second vehicle concept, as the design allows it to carry payloads on its back that can be launched into low Earth orbit. It would have a total weight of 13,920 kilograms (30,625 pounds) at takeoff, and would operate from an airstrip like a conventional aircraft. Using a fuel load of 7,515 kilograms (16,534 pounds), it would blast the craft to a maximum speed of 4,176 kilometres (2,595 mph).
The Vinci engine, which is capable of being fired up to 5 times on each mission, takes the two crew and six passengers to a height of 107.65 kilometres (66.8 miles) where several minutes of weightlessness can be experienced before the craft glides back down to Earth.
This vision of a potential Vinci spaceplane would use the technology currently being developed by ESA, and it would be able to use ESA’s expertise in astronaut training and space medicine. ESA is also able to help the flow and exchange of information between interested parties and to help meet the demands of European Aviation Safety Agency certification and other European legal requirements.
The Vinci spaceplane would certainly be able to send a variety of payloads into orbit at a lower cost per launch than conventional rockets, and could be equal to the commercial suborbital spaceplanes being developed in the United States. Whether any European companies are willing or able to take up the technological and economic challenges that need to be surmounted, before the Vinci spaceplane can take flight, is something only time will tell.
Forget the Shuttle – the ESA’s Vinci spaceplane is the future of space travel
Our exclusive illustration gives you the world’s first opportunity to see what this new concept vehicle from the ESA could look like.
Space shuttle Enterprise touches down in New York
The space shuttle Enterprise arrives at its final resting place in New York – check out the full story in this high-definition video from NASA
The man who broke the space walk record
We speak to the man who performed humanity’s furthest free flying space walk.