The end of the International Space Station?

There have been stories in the news recently that NASA intend to deorbit the International Space Station (ISS) in 2031.  They are largely based upon a recent NASA report outlining the future of the ISS. This report makes interesting reading and describes how NASA will transition away from the ISS towards commercial space stations (which… Continue reading The end of the International Space Station?

James Webb Telescope

On 18 December a Ariane 5 rocket will take off from the  Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, aboard it will be the $12 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - the most expensive scientific instrument ever launched into space. In this post I’ll talk about this remarkable telescope and the mission to deploy it.… Continue reading James Webb Telescope

Congratulations Blue Origin!

A week is certainly a long time in crewed spaceflight! Following Richard Branson’s trip to “the edge of space” on Sunday 11 July,  Jeff Bezos went one step further on July 20.  He made a short journey to space, in the first crewed flight of his Blue Origin rocket ship, New Shepard.  As the spacecraft… Continue reading Congratulations Blue Origin!

Congratulations Virgin Galactic

Great news from Virgin Galactic on Sunday. Although according to the widely used definition, their spacecraft didn’t quite get into space. Most international authorities define that space begins at an altitude of 100 km (the Karman line), whereas VSS  Unity reached an altitude of 86 km, but a fantastic achievement nevertheless !!. For those who… Continue reading Congratulations Virgin Galactic

The Space Shuttle 10 years on

Ten years ago, on 8 July 2011 Atlantis took off for the final mission of a Space Shuttle, bringing to close a programme which had lasted nearly 40 years  and had cost the equivalent of $220 billion in 2021 dollars. In this post I'll review this fascinating and unique piece of technology. The landing of… Continue reading The Space Shuttle 10 years on