Space Transportation Systems

Space Transportation Systems (STS) are the systems and architectures that deliver payloads and humans to outer space. Learn about space shuttles, rockets and other spacecraft.


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20 Years on the ISS Proves We Can All Get Along

Humans have now occupied the International Space Station for 20 continuous years. What does this international cooperation say about the future of space exploration?

How the International Space Station Works

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan had a vision for a permanently inhabited space station. Today that vision is a reality we know as the International Space Station.

NASA's Dragonfly Rotorcraft to Explore Saturn's Giant Moon Titan

Titan is the only moon in the solar system with much of an atmosphere, and the only one known to have liquid rivers, lakes and seas on its surface.

Can a Helicopter Fly on Mars? NASA Says Yes

NASA has built a lightweight robotic helicopter capable of flying in the thin atmosphere of Mars.

$58 Million Could Land You on International Space Station

And an additional $11,000 will allow you to use the space toilet.

Can We Get Into Space Without Big Rockets?

Visionaries have proposed various ways to get into space without using large rockets for propulsion, such as building a space elevator or harnessing magnetic levitation.

3-D Printing Your Own Tractor Beam Levitation Device

Engineers devised a way to levitate and control matter using acoustic waves, and they're sharing their plans with the public.

Elon Musk Wants You to Go to Mars for Just $200,000

Who says Mars is just for astronauts? Not Elon Musk. He wants to send you to the red planet for a few hundred grand in a spiffy carbon fiber spacecraft.

China’s Space Station Is on a Crash Course With Earth

According to some predictions, the Tiangong-1 facility is out of the Chinese government’s control. Is a devastating re-entry in the station’s future?

How to Spot the International Space Station From Where You Live

NASA's Spot the Station feature will text or email you when the ISS is about to be overhead. And you won't even need a telescope to see it!

SpaceX Just Hired a Superhero Design Team for Its Spacesuits

Elon Musk's SpaceX hired a creator of superhero and sci-fi costumes to help design its next-generation astronaut gear. Experts say that's not as weird as it sounds.

Discovering the Chemistry of Space Through Telescopes

Gazing into deep space with a telescope offers mind-blowing imagery, but perhaps even more awe-inspiring is how scientists use telescopes to learn the chemistry of space.

Setting Sail for the Stars

Solar sails may become the go-to technology for transporting cargo in space.

What's Way Cooler Than Naming a Kid? Naming a NASA Spacecraft

From the beginning, NASA has sought emblematic names for the objects it blasts into space.

What does it take to turn a spaceship into a museum piece?

Spacecraft are expensive, complex machines that allow us to explore the universe. But what happens when it's time for them to retire? We'll share what it takes to turn a space-worthy craft into a museum-worthy one.

How to Pilot a Starship

Cars are so 20th century. You need your very own starship (and a quick tutorial on operating it). Before you press a single button on your vessel, read this article. It might even tell you why that pilot's seat is designed for square buttocks.

10 Crazy Evil Spacecraft

Plenty of them scare the pants off us, like the space hulks from the Warhammer 40K universe. If we ever glimpse one of these 10 malevolent starships entering the Earth's atmosphere, we will run screaming in the other direction. We promise.

10 Fictional Spacecraft We Wish Were Real

In honor of Douglas Adams and galactic hitchhikers everywhere, we submit this list of 10 spacecraft that we hopelessly pine for. Mindboggingly beautiful!

How Lunar Rovers Work

Driving on Earth is tough enough. What happens when you throw in craters, unexpected solar events and backseat driving from your fellow astronauts while you bump over the moon?

How SpaceShipTwo Will Work

Virgin Galactic is trying to give the average person a chance at playing astronaut for a day -- on SpaceShipTwo, the world's first civilian passenger spaceliner.

Rocket Pictures

The science of rocketry is extremely complex and, at times, dangerous. This collection of images highlights the tech that gets all that science off the ground.

How the Gemini Spacecraft Worked

Project Gemini played an important step in NASA's efforts to put a man on the moon. How did the Gemini spacecraft carry two astronauts into space and back safely?

How the Apollo Spacecraft Worked

The Apollo program was initiated with the goal of landing a man on the moon. What was the spacecraft that helped make this giant leap for mankind?

How Warp Speed Works

Traveling faster than the speed of light, you could go anywhere in minutes -- at least, in the "Star Trek" universe. Is this sci-fi device theoretically possible?

Why is a baby monitor picking up video of the space shuttle?

For some reason, a baby monitor in Illinois has been picking up NASA's video broadcast of the space shuttle Atlantis mission. Find out what we think might be happening.