National Geographic

Susan Poulton

Digital Media VP for National Geographic Society. Future astronaut, traveler, coffee addict. Loves to talk...try and keep up.

Full Moon in Space: Seven-Time Astronaut Jerry Ross Shares Personal Moments

When astronaut Jerry Ross launched into space for the first of his seven world record-setting flights tying him for the most space launches of any human, a nearly full moon hung in the sky over Kennedy Space Center. It was a night launch in November of 1985 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, an orbiter he…

NASA’s Dharma Initiative “Swan Station?”

All that is missing is the computer, the beeping, and a prompt to enter the code 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. The dome-shaped survival room deep under Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been abandoned for over 40 years and now NASA is letting folks take a look.

Amazing New Time-Lapse: Shuttle Endeavour’s Complete LA Journey

This stunning new time-lapse video of the space shuttle Endeavour’s shuffle through the streets of Los Angeles is quite simply, the best.

Space Shuttle Endeavour Inspires Los Angeles

According to some, people in Los Angeles are hard to impress. But bring a real spaceship to town and tow it through the streets? That’ll do it.

Crowdsourcing Team Assists in Climber Search

Update: The team at Tomnod has just alerted us that the bodies of Gil and Ben have been found. The team offers words of thanks and consolation for all those involved.

Sally Ride: A Source of Inspiration

Whenever someone meets me, it doesn’t take them long to ask me the question, “How did you get so into space?” Given that I’ve likely just worked the space shuttle into a conversation about owls or mentioned a solar flare as part of ordering a pizza, it’s not surprising. It could have been all the…

Space Shuttle Discovery Powers Down

Friday morning marked a sad and permanent milestone in the ongoing decommissioning of the space shuttles at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with the closing of the payload bay doors and the final power-down of Discovery.

Final Chapter: Diary of a Shuttle Launch Enthusiast

From a true space shuttle launch “junkie” here are the top six moments from six years of shuttle launch experiences.

Don’t Cry for Me, Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center today at 4:53pm ET in spectacular fashion on her 39th and final mission. However, it wouldn’t be a Discovery launch if it wasn’t a nail biter. I’ve been to over 45 launch attempts since 2005 and this was the closest yet, with the countdown going right…

Launch Coverage: Discovery’s Hatch is Closed…

The crew is now securely in the shuttle and the hatch has been closed in preparation for the 4:50pm ET launch of Discovery this afternoon. Everything is still looking good with no technical issues being worked and weather still holding at 90% go for launch. It was an on time walk out from the crew…

“Go” for Final Launch of Discovery

By Susan Poultonfor Breaking Orbit   As far as space shuttle launches go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Tanking of Space Shuttle Discovery began on time at 7:25 am ET this morning, getting it ready for its final flight scheduled for 4:50pm ET this afternoon. The weather forecast has been upgraded to a…

Discovery’s Last Ride

By Susan Poultonfor Breaking Orbit Space Shuttle Discovery rolled out to the launch pad for the final time tonight, with first motion out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) coming 30 minutes early at 7:23pm ET, beneath a stunning sunset. Hundreds of employees gathered to watch the event and cheer on Discovery as they watched…

Space Shuttle Launch Coverage: Launch

By Susan Poulton for Breaking Orbit Space Shuttle Atlantis is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) in a spectacular on time launch from Kennedy Space Center at 2:20pm ET. This marks the 32nd and final launch for the shuttle Atlantis who had its maiden voyage on October 3, 1985. Cheers and applause…

Space Shuttle Launch Coverage: All Aboard!

By Susan Poulton for Breaking Orbit The crew is now on board and completing their communication checks and the hatch has been closed. Liftoff of Atlantis is still on schedule for 2:20pm ET with the weather forecast holding steady at 70%. There’s still a slight chance of a low cloud ceiling over the launch pad…

Space Shuttle Launch Coverage: Quiet Morning for Atlantis’ Last Flight

By Susan Poulton for Breaking Orbit The press site is quiet for the moment as the sun rises behind Atlantis, poised on the launch pad ready for her final flight. The weather looks good and there are no technical problems, but the mood here is a mixture of somber excitement as the space shuttle program…