Space

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Shuttle spotting: ‘Discovery’ lands at final home

Article | Apr 18, 2012

The space shuttle 'Discovery' appeared over the treeline atop its carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, to an eruption of applause from thousands of visitors who lined the parking lot of the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center April 17 to witness its last flight.

NASA, SpaceX express cautious optimism for April 30 launch

Article | Apr 16, 2012

Two weeks ahead of the first planned attempt to rendezvous a commercial spacecraft with the International Space Station, all systems are go, and officials from NASA and private contractor SpaceX are keeping their fingers crossed.

SpaceX's proposed Texas launch site to be studied

Advocacy | Apr 12, 2012

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a commercial group that develops rockets and spacecraft, is proposing to build vertical launch and control areas in Cameron County, Texas, to conduct up to 12 commercial launches a year.

Curiosity, midway to Mars, adjusts course

Article | Apr 04, 2012

The Mars rover Curiosity is back on course after NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory executed a fancy bit of space aviation in late March.

Search homing in on Earhart's airplane

Article | Mar 20, 2012

Seventy-five years after Amelia Earhart's disappearance in the Pacific, a nonprofit group has announced it will launch the most intensive effort yet to find pieces of her wrecked airplane and solve the mystery of where her flight ended.

NASA rockets will spread a ghostly glow

Article | Mar 08, 2012

The interaction of wind and charged electrical particles 60 to 65 miles from the surface has been associated with satellite failures and radio communication interference. NASA wants to better understand why.

Astronaut with GA roots prepares new generation of explorers

Article | Feb 27, 2012

The main engines lit six seconds before liftoff, filling the space shuttle Discovery with a low rumble. Liftoff was instant. NASA astronaut Nicole Stott's second trip to space was a highlight of a space flight career launched, in many ways, by a Skybolt.

NASA games designed to spark aviation interest

Article | Feb 01, 2012

NASA has launched two free games aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers and aviators--an air traffic control game adapted for Apple iPhone and iPad devices, and a multi-player space and technology trivia game hosted on Facebook.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Private space race gets new entrant Tired of getting into orbit the same old way? Relief may be coming from Stratolaunch Systems, a collaboration between Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and Burt Rutan, the designer of aircraft and spacecraft, in a project that will merge a Rutan-inspired design with certain hardware and engines from Boeing 747s to create a huge airplane that will launch rockets into orbit during high-altitude flight. But don’t rush off and cancel your $200,000 reservation (booked through “your local accredited space agent”) for a suborbital flight on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceline just yet.

Air Mobile Joe

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Ariana, born in Haiti, came to the door of the Cessna Skymaster nicknamed Ti Burik and paused; that first step is a big one for any 6-year-old. Joe Hurston, her adoptive father, lifted her from the airplane to the tarmac where she shyly stood. After meeting her 14-year-old brother, Peter, I stooped down and said, "I saw you on TV!" She looked at the ground.

Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

There was a lot going through Matt Quy's mind that steamy August morning as he flew his 1944 Boeing PT-13 Stearman down the final approach to Runway 19 Left at Washington Dulles International Airport. His wife, Tina, sat in the front cockpit. To his left, he could see the Washington Monument in the distance. The wind singing in the biplane's flying wires confirmed his airspeed: Fast. In a relative way, of course.

Swamp Pirates

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

The Sikorsky X2 team is honored for speeding

Musician’s flying anthem soars

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Singer-songwriter Ansel Brown couldn't help but put his feelings into music about the family of aviators he acquired when he married Lisa Wixom Brown.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Mentioning certain types of military aircraft often conjures thoughts of single missions for which they were most famous. The North American B–25 Mitchell reminds us of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo (April 18, 1942), and you cannot think of the Boeing B–29 Superfortress without being reminded of the role it played in America's use of the atomic bomb to end World War II. The "Superfort" was the only airplane capable of performing that historic mission. So it was that upon completion of my feature article about the B–29 ("The Lady has a History"), I thought it remiss not to include my thoughts about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the two most violent acts of war ever committed. Or were they?

Fleeting Beauty

Article | Jul 01, 2011

“Homebuilt” airplanes range from crude machines to articles combining the best of craftsmanship and aesthetics. But one of them stood alone: the incomparable H-1 Racer built by Jim Wright and a team of skilled craftsmen in a small town in western Oregon.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

Yves Rossy flew a loop for the first time with the aid of a wing strapped on his back, four jet engines each the size of a loaf of bread, and his body. He has made several previous flights with the wing, including one crossing the English Channel.

Pilot Briefing

Article | Dec 01, 2010

Virgin Galactic ‘Enterprise’ completes glide test The suborbital commercial tourist spaceship VSS (Virgin Spaceship) Enterprise—also known as SpaceShipTwo—owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company completed its first unpowered glide test October 10. You can see a video of the flight on the Virgin Galactic website.

Out of space

Article | Oct 01, 2010

“Houston, Atlantis is in the roll.” Space shuttle Commander Ken Ham announces that the orbiter, Atlantis, has just started its trademark maneuver, made during every space shuttle launch shortly after leaving the launch pad. And just a second later he utters the word that spells trouble for him and his crew for the next several minutes: “Helium.” “Roger, roll,” comes the call from mission control.

'AOPA Pilot' Online

Article | Oct 01, 2010

The Air Up There Mike Collins loaded up his camera and his notebooks to tackle a tough assignment in the New Mexico desert. He’d have to rise before the sun, look to the skies all day, and maybe even share a glass of mandatory champagne—when you cover the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, it’s a tough gig.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2010

There are now 100,000 historic photos online for you to browse. The San Diego Air and Space Museum is sharing the photos on Flickr.

AOPA Road and Runway: The ultimate cross-country road trip

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

Airports along the way Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (JGG)—This charming GA airport is tucked off a residential road southwest of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, on Marclay Road. Privately owned and founded in 1970 by Larry and Jean Waltrip, its on-site restaurant, Charly’s, features homemade breads and desserts and was voted the number one $100 hamburger stop on the East Coast by 100hamburger.com.

Fly-Outs: June

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

Calling all dads! June is the month to celebrate your dad and what better way to honor the old man than with an aviation event, cross-country, or road trip? From the unusual to the sublime—if you have a pilot in your midst, you can go just about anywhere with your father. Enjoy dad this month at one of these events or check our online calendar for other ideas.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

The April 2010 eruption of a volcano on Iceland may or may not have subsided by now, depending on the interplay between neighboring hot spots on that mid-Atlantic island. The offending unpronounceable volcano, Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl for those willing to give it a try), has a neighboring volcano that has a history of erupting after Eyjafjallajokull does.