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The Spaceflight Portal

Spaceflightis the movement of spacecraftinto and through outer space, primarily using rockettechnology for propulsion. Spaceflight is used in space exploration, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities like space tourismand satellite telecommunications. It is generally based on the use of rocketsto transport machines, animals, and humans to, and subsequently through, space. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories, reconnaissance satellitesand other earth observation satellites. Objects launched into space may follow a sub-orbitaltrajectory and return to Earth immediately, stay in orbitaround Earth, travel in the space between the planets, or aim to leave the space dominated by the Suncompletely. (more...)

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Selected biography

Piers John Sellers (born 11 April 1955) is a British-American scientist and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions. Born in Crowborough, Sussex, Sellers was educated at Tyttenhanger Lodge Pre-preparatory School in Seaford, East Sussex and Cranbrook School, Kent, where he was trained as a Royal Air Force cadet to pilot gliders and powered aircraft. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ecological science from the University of Edinburgh and a doctorate in biometeorology from the University of Leeds.

He and his wife left the UK in 1982, moving to the United States, where Sellers began his NASA career as a research meteorologist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Piers reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation and was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch, followed by service in the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch. During that time, Piers worked part time in Moscow as a technical liaison on ISS computer software. Twice flown, on STS-122 and STS-121, Piers has logged over 559 hours in space, including almost 41 EVA hours in 6 spacewalks. (more...)


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An Atlas-Centaur at Cape Canaveral Air Force StationLaunch Complex 36, awaiting the launch of Pioneer 10.

Next scheduled launch

The next scheduled launch is an Ariane 5, with the Skynet 5C and Turksat 3A satellites for the British Ministry of Defence, and Turksat. Liftoff, from ELA-3 at the Guiana Space Centre, is scheduled for 12 June at 21:54 UTC.

The next scheduled manned launch will be of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, on mission STS-125, the final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Launch from LC-39A at KSC is scheduled for 8 October. A webcast can be viewed on NASA TV.

For a full launch schedule, see 2008 in spaceflight.

On This Day

12 June

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