AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
31 Jan 15 14:20:42 GMT
31 Jan 15 6:20:42 PST
31 Jan 15 9:20:42 Eastern

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PHOTOS: Delta-II Ready for SMAP Launch Attempt #2 from California Saturday Morning

The ULA Delta-II tasked with launching NASA’s SMAP Earth Science satellite / mission. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Mother nature and a relatively minor technical issue forced ULA to keep their Delta-II rocket, and NASA’s SMAP satellite, grounded at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California the last few days, but as of […]

NASA Observes Annual Remembrance Day, Pays Tribute to Lost US Crews

An honor guard pays tribute to lost U.S. astronauts, flanked by NASA’s Suzy Cunningham, at the Space Mirror Memorial on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 28. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

This week in spaceflight history is a somber and difficult one, as the anniversaries of three major U.S. spaceflight tragedies occur within days of […]

Venus Express Spacecraft Goes Out With a Shout, Ends Triumphant Mission Around Earth's 'Twisted Sister'

An artist’s concept of ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft, while diving into the atmosphere of Venus during its aerobraking manoeuvres in 2014. Having already depleted its onboard fuel reserves, the spacecraft finally went silent earlier this month, indicating that it had probably taken its last, fateful plunge into Venus’ infernal atmosphere. Image Credit: Image Credit: […]

Massive Alien Ring System Is Much Larger Than Saturn's—And May Contain Exomoons

Artist’s conception of the ring system circling the young giant planet (or brown dwarf) J1407b. Image Credit: Ron Miller

Astronomers today announced yet another mind-boggling finding: a ring system which orbits a distant giant planet has been found to be much larger and more massive than Saturn’s ring system, the best known example in our own […]

Mars Science Treasure Dead Ahead as Opportunity Celebrates 11th Year Alive Roving Martian Mountain

11 Years on Mars! New mountain top view from NASA’s Opportunity rover taken on the day of her 11th anniversary exploring the Red Planet on Sol 3911, Jan. 24, 2015, since Martian touchdown on Jan. 24, 2004. The view from atop Cape Tribulation was taken just after departing the summit and shows the down […]

NASA's SMAP Environmental Watcher Ready for Thursday Launch Atop Delta II

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft undergoes checkout in Astrotech’s payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: ULA

For the 153rd time in its quarter-century of operational service, the thunderous roar of a Delta II booster will rattle Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, 29 January, carrying NASA’s […]

'Fire in the Cockpit': Remembering the Sacrifice of Apollo 1

After the first cry from Roger Chaffee (left), even super-fit Ed White (center) was unable to even fully release the first bolt from the command module’s inner hatch before he was overcome by fumes. The most likely origin of the fire was somewhere beneath the seat of Gus Grissom (right). Photo Credit: NASA

Almost […]

At T-2 Years, NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing Discuss Return of US Human Spaceflight Capability

SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell responds to a question, as Boeing’s John Elbon and NASA’s Kathy Lueders look on. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Four months after NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX as the winners of the Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase of the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program—with total contracts valued at $6.8 billion—six key […]

SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle: Another Step Forward in Solving Climate Puzzle

NASA JPL Earth Science Senior Research Scientist Dr. Simon Yueh has played an important role in several Earth Science missions, including the upcoming SMAP mission launching from Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 29. Photo Credit: Chris Howell / AmericaSpace

A meeting in two parts with NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Scientist/Aquarius Project Scientist (scatterometer) Dr. […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 2)

Since the conception of the Manned Spaceflight Engineer (MSE) program, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and […]