LISTEN LIVE

NASA

NASA's Washington, D.C., headquarters will soon bear the name of Mary Jackson, the agency's first African American female engineer and a driving force behind getting U.S. astronauts into space.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the move in a statement released Wednesday.

"Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology," he said.

NASA

When astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken launched from Kennedy Space Center last month, NASA and SpaceX made history. It was the first human launch from the U.S. since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 — and the public-private partnership did it in the middle of a global pandemic.

Two NASA astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station, 19 hours after launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken made the trip on a private space vehicle designed, built and launched by SpaceX.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule docked with the station at 10:17 a.m. ET while flying over the border of northern China and Mongolia.

Shortly after NASA astronauts blasted off from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011, President Trump painted a dire picture of what the space agency had looked like when he first came to office.

"There was grass growing through the cracks of your concrete runways — not a pretty sight, not a pretty sight at all," he said at NASA's enormous Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he had come to watch two astronauts launch to orbit in a vehicle owned and operated by SpaceX.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

NASA astronauts are heading to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nine years, aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule, the maiden crewed flight of the innovative spacecraft.

The mission, which is sending Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, is a bold new venture for the space agency's plan to allow commercial companies to take its astronauts into low-Earth orbit.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

NASA and SpaceX were ready to launch a pair of astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly nine years on Wednesday, but the weather had other ideas.

When NASA astronauts launch from the Kennedy Space Center, it will be the first time humans have blasted off from the U.S. since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

The pilot of that final shuttle mission was Doug Hurley, and he's aboard again Wednesday, ready to make history with the launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

Almost 40 years have passed since the last time NASA astronauts blasted off into space on a brand new spaceship.

Now, as NASA looks forward to Wednesday's planned test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon with a pair of astronauts on board, some in the spaceflight community have a little bit of déjà vu.

Falcon 9 on launch pad
SpaceX

NASA said SpaceX is GO for launch Wednesday. The private company will attempt to launch two NASA astronauts from Kennedy Space Center — a first from the U.S. since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

This week, NASA and the commercial company SpaceX are set to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in a new capsule. This is the first launch by NASA of astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, but it's happening in the middle of a pandemic.

Here are some of the ways that the coronavirus will, and won't, change the plans for the space agency's latest launch.

Astronauts have been quarantining since before it was cool.

ULA

A space plane is on a secret mission for the U.S. Space Force after launching from Cape Canaveral Sunday.

SPACEX

Two NASA astronauts are ready to launch to the International Space Station later this month from Kennedy Space Center. It will be the first human launch from the U.S. since 2011.

Because of the coronavirus, NASA's top official is asking space fans not to travel to Florida later this month to watch astronauts blast off from American soil for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011.

an illustration of a meteor shower with lines spreading out
Graphic by Howard Hochhalter / Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

Early Wednesday morning will be the peak viewing day for the Lyrid meteor shower.  

Howard Hochhalter is the planetarium director at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton. He said you'll want to wait until after midnight, "typically the show really starts to pick up around 1:30, two o'clock in the morning (in the early hours of Wednesday) and then goes on until just before sunrise." 

moon behind mountains
NASA/Bill Dunford

Those looking for a beacon of hope amidst the COVID-19 pandemic will find a large shining one skyward as Earth will experience the biggest and brightest moon of the year on Tuesday night.

IPGP/Nicolas Sarter

NASA's newest Mars lander has confirmed that quakes and even aftershocks are regularly jolting the red planet.

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who was one of NASA's human "computers" and an unsung hero of the space agency's early days, died Monday. She calculated the flight path for America's first crewed space mission and moon landing, and she was among the women profiled in the book and movie Hidden Figures. She was 101.

Her death was announced by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The space capsule that will likely carry the first astronauts to the International Space Station from the U.S. since 2011 has arrived in Florida ahead of a planned flight as early as this spring.

NASA is working with private companies SpaceX and Boeing to launch astronauts to the station. Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, NASA has relied solely on the Russian space agency Roscosmos for rides to the station on its Soyuz capsule.

In Trump's NASA Budget, Florida Stands To Gain

Feb 11, 2020

The Trump administration is asking Congress for more than $25 billion to fund NASA next year. Florida stands to gain if the budget is passed by Congress. 

The budget is merely a request. Ultimately it’s up to Congress to appropriate the money.

The budget proposal for 2021 is a 12 percent increase from last year and fully funds NASA’s SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft — two programs with large footholds at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA

Boeing safely landed its crew capsule in the New Mexico desert Sunday after an aborted flight to the International Space Station that threatened to set back the company’s effort to launch astronauts for NASA next year.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Boeing's new Starliner capsule, on its maiden uncrewed flight to the International Space Station, has failed to attain its proper orbit after a flawless liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the company says.

Boeing says the capsule, which is carrying 600 pounds of cargo as a dress rehearsal for a possible mission with astronauts next year, has reached a stable orbit, but not at the correct altitude to dock with the station.

SpaceX has made an early holiday delivery to the International Space Station.

U.S. and European space agencies are preparing to launch a 10-year mission aimed at measuring how much the seas will rise by 2030.

There's a mole on Mars that's making NASA engineers tear their hair out.

No, they haven't discovered a small, insectivorous mammal on the red planet.

The mole vexing engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena is a scientific instrument known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3 — or just "the mole" — carried on NASA's InSight probe that landed on Mars a year ago.

Astronauts work on cosmic ray detector
NASA

Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Friday for the second week in a row to repair a cosmic ray detector, this time actually cutting into the $2 billion instrument.

The International Space Station’s Luca Parmitano sliced through eight stainless steel tubes, using hardware store-type bolt cutters. That set the stage to install new coolant pumps during the third spacewalk on Dec. 2.

Mini Mercury skipped across the vast, glaring face of the sun Monday in a rare celestial transit.

Composer Eric Whitacre said one of his guiding principles is for people to feel a part of something larger than themselves. 

NASA scientists and a former astronaut on Tuesday told a group of local students and future entrepreneurs that doing business in space can be on everyone's agenda.

They'll speak with members of the public on Wednesday as well.

Thursday's launch of the United Launch Alliance communications satellite lit up the sky over Northdale.
JULIO OCHOA / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

As rocket launches go, Thursday’s deployment of a communications satellite from Cape Canaveral was nothing too unusual.

Pages