A human spaceflight odyssey

Orbital Velocity aims to offer casual observers and devoted space enthusiasts alike the best media chronicling humanity’s journey toward becoming a multiplanetary species by providing informative, digestible and accurate content.

The story of human expansion into low-Earth orbit and beyond is happening right before our eyes. Starting with the International Space Station, the mission of Orbital Velocity is to act as a “living time capsule” chronicling these ambitions to live and work off the planet.

The International Space Station

The International Space Station in 2018. Credit: NASA

A collaboration between 15 countries across three continents, the International Space Station is the largest human-built object in space. It is also currently the only permanent off-world outpost — but it won’t last forever.

Groundbreaking research is being performed every day by astronauts and cosmonauts occupying the outpost. Moreover, the station is helping to spur a commercial research market as space agencies begin to move beyond low-Earth orbit.

Despite its importance in the story of human spaceflight, the International Space Station isn’t always in the forefront of everyday life. As such, there is often an information gap between space agencies, companies and a public that supports space endeavors with tax dollars.

Orbital Velocity is an attempt to bridge that gap and become a place to show the world why space is humanity’s future.


Orbital Velocity started as a blog assignment for a course at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Initially just blurbs of facts about the International Space Station, the site expanded to include profiles of visiting spacecraft, recent expeditions, a schedule of events and more.

As time goes on, more graphics, videos and animations are planned to be added to tell the story of humanity’s journey toward becoming a multiplanetary species.

— Meet the team —

Derek Richardsoncreator, editor-in-chief


Derek Richardson is a writer and unabashed space geek! His passion for space ignited when he watched space shuttle Discovery leap to space on Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no sign of slowing down.

He graduated from Washburn University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in mass media with an emphasis in contemporary journalism and a minor in history.

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