Suggested Searches

Journalist Craig Covault, foreground, with NASA astronauts John Young, left, and Bob Crippen, right.

Craig Covault

Craig Covault, Journalist and Space Editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology

Craig Covault wrote and reported for “Aviation Week & Space Technology” for most of his award-winning career, which lasted 48 years, from 1969 to 2017. He also contributed to three other publications: “Aerospace America,” “Spaceflight Now” and “AmericaSpace.” Covault authored an estimated 2,000 news and feature stories on space and aeronautics, and covered some 100 space shuttle launches and missions. He was considered for NASA’s journalist in space initiative during the Space Shuttle Program.

Covault focused on unmanned science and military missions as much as human spaceflight.

During his first 20 years with Aviation Week (1972-1992), Covault served as Space Editor in Washington, D.C., where he covered space policy, national security and budget decisions. 

Covault also traveled frequently to the Cape and Kennedy Space Center for Saturn, space shuttle and unmanned launches on science and military missions. During his overall career, he not only reported on NASA’s Space Shuttle Program but also covered numerous Soviet/Russian space missions. He also traveled to Houston’s Johnson Space Center for shuttle simulations.

During one such simulation with STS-1 astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen, Young had Covault sit on his lap to better see liftoff events—making Covault the only journalist to figuratively “launch into space” sitting on the commander’s lap.

Covault donned Apollo and shuttle space suits for three underwater EVA simulations for Hubble servicing and station assembly. They were in the giant Marshall Space Flight Center and McDonnell Douglas water tanks.

Covault also reported on space from Europe, where he was based for four years as Paris Bureau Chief (1992-1996), traveling frequently to Russia, China and Japan. He also accompanied NATO air operations during the Bosnian War.

Covault returned from Paris to become Aviation Week’s Cape/KSC Bureau Chief, where he began extensive coverage of Shuttle/ISS assembly.

Covault’s coverage of the January 1986 Challenger launch accident and February 2003 Columbia reentry accident were cited by news media around the world.

In March 1986, Covault’s Challenger reporting figured prominently in a “Washington Post” Style Section article headlined “Aviation Week’s Soaring Success.”

Covault first reported from the Cape/KSC in 1969 under a Reader’s Digest Grant while a journalism major at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. On the first day of his first visit to KSC, NASA allowed Covault to fly a lunar landing simulation with future Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan inside the Singer-Link Lunar Module Simulator. He has since met all 12 astronauts who landed on the Moon.

Covault is the only journalist ever permitted to fly on board the Orbital Sciences L-1011 during a Pegasus rocket launch, and was the first journalist to fly on the Gulfstream STA Shuttle Training Aircraft with astronauts practicing both day and night diving approaches to the KSC Shuttle runway. He has also flown for stories on numerous military aircraft, several supersonic.