Attending Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22 Launch at Spaceport America

Mission specialist and astronaut Colin Bennett speaks with us in New Mexico after the inaugural flight

With temperatures hovering in the low 90s and a tarantula or two scuttling across the runway, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity aircraft swept into the skies for its 22nd space flight, the first with a full crew, which included founder Sir Richard Branson in its cabin. As Unity soared to an altitude of 53.5 miles, leaving Spaceport America, New Mexico and the Chihuahuan Desert behind, the …

NASA’s Philippe Starck-Designed Private Space Homes

“My vision is to create a comfortable egg, friendly, where walls are so soft and in harmony with the movements of the human body in zero gravity,” enterprising designer Philippe Starck says of his latest commission: private accommodation on the International Space Station (ISS) for commercial tourists. NASA partnered with Axiom Space on the project, who then tapped Starck. The project should be complete by 2024—and …

Farewell to Mathematician Katherine Johnson, Crucial “Hidden Figure” at NASA in the ’60s Space Race

From her time as a childhood math prodigy in West Virginia to her crucial role as a “computer” at NASA, where her calculations helped lead astronauts into orbit and then the moon, black mathematician Katherine Johnson was a pioneering figure in spaceflight. Johnson’s work was critical to NASA’s earlier successes—especially during the space race—but they wouldn’t get mainstream recognition until President Barack Obama awarded her …