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Curiosity Lands On Mars

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory erupted in triumph this afternoon as the rover Curiosity touched down on Mars.

The Washington Post reports the landing took place within a 9-by-3-mile ellipse selected for touchdown. “It landed at exactly 1.31 a.m., as planned months ago. The rover is most likely in a dune field now, but will set out for nearby Mount Sharp in the weeks ahead.”

The rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011. It has travelled 354 million miles since its launch.

Curiosity began transmitting data immediately after touchdown.

Back To The Moon And On To Mars: Bush Announces New Space Program

President George W. Bush has set out an ambitious program of space exploration over the next 20 years that will see manned missions to the moon by 2015-20 with a view to using to using the Moon as a launching pad for further exploration of Mars.

Bush announced his Vision for Space Exploration during a visit to the NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He said the Sapce Shuttle would be retired once the International Space Station was completed.

The new exploration program will be known as Constellation. [Read more…]

Space Shuttle Columbia Breaks Up On Re-Entry: Seven Astronauts Killed

The space shuttle Columbia broke up as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere this morning, Australian time, just minutes before it was to land at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

ColumbiaPresident Bush, addressing the nation on television, said “Columbia is lost. There are no survivors.”

The shuttle, the oldest in the US fleet, was carrying 7 people, including Israel’s first astronaut. They were: William McCool, Rick Husband, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon, pictured above on January 20. [Read more…]

Bush: Our Journey Into Space Will Go On

This is the text of President Bush’s Address to the Nation on the Loss of Space Shuttle Columbia.

  • Listen to Bush’s Address:

Text of President Bush’s Address to the Nation.

2:04 P.M. EST

My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At 9:00 a.m. this morning, Mission Control in Houston lost contact with our Space Shuttle Columbia. A short time later, debris was seen falling from the skies above Texas. The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.

On board was a crew of seven: Colonel Rick Husband; Lt. Colonel Michael Anderson; Commander Laurel Clark; Captain David Brown; Commander William McCool; Dr. Kalpana Chawla; and Ilan Ramon, a Colonel in the Israeli Air Force. These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity. [Read more…]

List Of Space Exploration Fatalities Since 1967

This is the list of human casualties in the history of space exploration.

January 27, 1967 – three astronauts died when a fire engulfed their command module during a ground test at Kennedy Space Centre.

  • Gus Grissom
  • Edward H. White
  • Roger B. Chaffee

April 24, 1967 – one astronaut died when his Soyuz I spacecraft crashed on return to Earth

  • Vladimir Komarov

June 29, 1971 – three astronauts died during re-entry of their Soyuz 11 spacecraft. A government investigation said they died 30 minutes before landing because of depressurisation.

  • Georgy Dobrovolsky
  • Vladislav Volkov
  • Viktor Patsayev

January 28, 1986 – seven astronauts died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch. McAuliffe was intended to be the first teacher in space.

  • Christa McAuliffe
  • Francis “Dick” Scobee
  • Michael J. Smith
  • Ellison S. Onizuka
  • Judith A. Resnik
  • Ronald E. McNair
  • Gregory B. Jarvis.

February 1, 2003 – seven astronauts died when space shuttle Columbia broke apart in flames about 203,000 feet over Texas, 16 minutes before it was supposed to touch down in Florida. Ramon was Israel’s first astronaut.

  • William McCool
  • Rick Husband
  • Michael Anderson
  • Kalpana Chawla
  • David Brown
  • Laurel Clark
  • Ilan Ramon