nasa stories

 
We've known for a while now that there's water ice on Mars, and we've seen lots of tantalizing suggestions that liquid water may have once existed on the surface in huge rivers and oceans. Today, NASA announced that for the first time, they may have actually spotted some flowing, liquid water, and here are the pics to prove it.
 
For NASA and space fans alike, the Space Shuttle program could not be winding down at a headier time. The landing of Atlantis this morning marks the end of an era, and comes the same day as one of NASA's early milestones 50 years ago exactly: Virgil "Gus" Grissom's suborbital voyage aboard the Liberty Bell 7 — the second launch for Project Mercury, NASA's earliest manned spaceflight program. Yesterday also happened to be the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and just this May was the 50th anniversary of the first manned NASA spaceflight ever — also part of Project Mercury. So, yeah: heady times. Gus Grissom was the second American to go up into space, and the first to do it twice. He was an active influence on all of NASA's initial manned spaceflight programs, starting with his controversial Mercury flight, then on to Gemini and, finally, Apollo, where Gus Grissom would make the ultimate sacrifice. It should be stated here — and it's no slight to the man — that while this article focuses primarily on Grissom and includes interviews with people who worked in the space program, it's also about the untold thousands who go unmentioned. As Apollo programmer Homer Ahr told us over the phone, "We wanted to fly a successful mission, and sooner or later when you get people to discuss it from that vantage point, egos tended to go away." It was a team effort, through and through. With that in mind, join us as we take a look back at Grissom's contribution to our space program by way of his three landmark spacecraft, and the fierce controversy that threatened to tarnish an amazing legacy.
 
After a successful final launch, the Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to return back to Earth tomorrow, ending 30-years of historic space exploration. Once its wheels touchdown on the tarmac, the Shuttle will undergo a cleansing process that'll prime it up for a quiet rest in the Smithsonian. Too bad, cleaning her and all of the other Shuttles is quite the pain in the butt.

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