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Craig Covault joins Spaceflight Now
Posted: January 14, 2009

Craig Covault
Craig Covault, one of the world's most respected aerospace journalists, is joining the Spaceflight Now team as Editor-at-Large. With about 3,000 articles to his name and nearly four decades in the business, Craig will further strengthen Spaceflight Now's unrivaled coverage of the space program.

"Craig will greatly enhance our reporting of military space, planetary exploration and the rapidly advancing Chinese space program," said Steven Young, managing editor of Spaceflight Now. "His years of experience make him a valuable addition to our team."

Since 1999, Spaceflight Now has gained an unrivaled reputation as a leading source of space news on the internet. During launches and missions the web site is relied upon by the space community for accurate and up-to-the-minute reports.

During nearly 37 years with Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, Craig Covault covered the world's space programs including Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle and the International Space Station. He also provided extensive coverage of secret national security space programs from the White House, Pentagon and Congress. He served as a senior editor for the magazine at bureaus in Washington, Paris and Cape Canaveral. Craig has filed stories from 20 countries and written most extensively on space from Russia, China and Japan.



Craig Covault has written about 3,000 articles on space and aeronautics during a nearly 37 year career at Aviation Week & Space Technology, where he was a Senior Editor when "riffed" in late 2008 because of cost cuts at that McGraw Hill publication.

He began his space writing career in 1969-70 with grants from Reader's Digest Magazine to cover Apollo lunar mission simulations with astronauts at the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers.

For 20 years in Washington he covered diverse civil space programs including Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle, the International Space Station and international military and civil space programs. He also provided extensive coverage of secret national security space programs at the White House, Pentagon and Congress.

He has joined astronauts many times for space shuttle launch and reentry simulations and is the only journalist to fly on board the Gulfstream II STA Shuttle Training Aircraft, with astronauts practicing steep shuttle landing approaches at the Kennedy Space Center.

He has also logged 17 minutes of simulated weightlessness in NASA's zero-g training aircraft.

Covault is also the only journalist to have practiced extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks in a space suit underwater to demonstrate station assembly tasks and Hubble Space Telescope servicing. His underwater Hubble exercise with a full scale mockup telescope included simulation of a fine guidance sensor replacement, like the space shuttle mission STS 125 crew is planning to do this coming July.

Covault has covered space programs from diverse locations around the world. He has filed stories from 20 countries and written most extensively on space from Russia, China and Japan.

As Paris Bureau Chief in 1992-1996 he covered European military aeronautics and space developments and NATO air operations during the Bosnian war. He flew on a JointSTARS radar aircraft patrolling mass grave sites in Bosnia and filed stories on NATO strike operations from on board the aircraft carriers USS Saratoga and USS Roosevelt on patrol in the Adriatic Sea.

He has flown numerous bomber, high performance fighter and command and control aircraft including Air Force One, the F-100, F-106, F-4E, F-111A, FB-111, B-52, EC-135, the AV-8 Harrier along with flights in the F-15 and AWACS in Alaska.

He is also the first American to fly with the Russian Strategic Bomber Force on board a TU-95 Bear-H cruise missile bomber. His three Bear-H flights included refueling with an IL-76 tanker.

His news stories have been widely quoted in the mass media such as the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He has been interviewed by all three major U. S. networks and CNN and appeared twice on the Today Show and The Charlie Rose Show. He has also been interviewed often by the BBC and Canadian Broadcasting.

Covault has also been a guest speaker before significant forums. He testified about planetary exploration before the White House National Commission on Space and has lectured on Russian military space systems before at the National Defense University.

He has addressed the Society of Flight Test Engineers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and spoken about reconnaissance satellites at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He has also been the featured afternoon speaker at Chautauqua, N. Y. and lectured at the Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xian, China.

During 2008 he made his 6th trip to China as part of a space cooperation team with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

Covault has earned numerous awards including two Neal Awards, considered the equivalent a Pulitzer Prize for specialized writing. His first Neal was awarded in 1984 for his coverage of commercial space and the second in 2003 for scoops on the Columbia space shuttle accident. He has twice won the top "Space Writing Award" from the National Space Club in Washington and twice more won the Breaking News Award from the Royal Aeronautical Establishment and Aero Club of Paris. He also won the 2004 Decade of Excellent Award presented by that British/French group at the Farnborough Air Show near London.

He has also been presented the Rotary National Stellar Award for Space Achievement in Houston for his coverage of manned space flight, and the Kolcum News and Communications Award by the Florida Chapter of the National Space Club. He was also awarded the Aviation Week "Wingman Award" for his leadership on the AWST staff.

He was also selected as one of the Most Outstanding Graduates in the history of his alma mater, Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he received a BS in Journalism in 1971.

Covault was also honored by McGraw-Hill, Inc. by selection as one of its Employees of the Year and featured in a McGraw Hill Annual Report as "one of the people who will make the difference in the information age".