AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
27 Aug 14 4:50:00 GMT
27 Aug 14 0:50:00 EDT

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Flight Plans and Crews for Commercial Dream Chaser’s First Flights: One-on-One Interview With SNC VP Mark Sirangelo (Part 3)

Dream Chaser blazes to orbit and the ISS after separation from ULA Atlas V Rocket 2nd stage and liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)

With the pace of assembly accelerating for the first private Dream Chaser space plane, plans for its maiden blastoff on an “orbital test [...]

First Private Dream Chaser Construction Pace Accelerates Toward 2016 Maiden Blastoff: One-on-One Interview With SNC VP Mark Sirangelo (Part 2)

SNC’s Commercial Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle under construction. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)

Construction of the first commercial Dream Chaser space plane that will propel Americans back to space from American soil is well underway and accelerating to insure “its ready for the first launch in November 2016,” Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president [...]

'A Mission We Wanted to Do': The Maiden Voyage of Endeavour (Part 1)

With the possible exception of Columbia and the very first space shuttle mission, few orbiters had as dramatic and exciting a maiden voyage as Endeavour. On STS-49, she provided a reliable stage for the longest EVA in history and the first three-man EVA in history. Despite the trials and tribulations of the flight, she [...]

'I Wouldn’t Call it Fear': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 2)

The closest the shuttle ever came to a launch at the time of abort was T-1.9 seconds, on 18 August 1994. So close was the shuttle to launch, the on-board General Purpose Computers had already moded to their 102 ascent software configuration at the time of the abort. Photo Credit: NASA

In the pre-dawn [...]

'Quiet as a Crypt': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 1)

Close-up view of Discovery’s three main engines—still exhibiting evidence of scorching from their momentary ignition on 26 June 1984—in the wake of the shuttle program’s first RSLS abort. Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout its 30-year career—consciously or unconsciously—the space shuttle was acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous piloted space vehicles ever brought to [...]

Opinion: Which Way Toward the Red Planet? Current Plans for Mars Colonisation and the Need for Maturity

Artistic rendering of Mars, made from images taken with NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Private space companies have announced plans for the colonisation of the Red Planet within the next decade. How close are those plans to becoming a reality? Image Credit: Kees Veenenbos/MOLA Science Team/NASA

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about [...]

'Vanilla to Chocolate': The Changing Mission of STS-54

The American eagle delivers a fifth star, representing the fifth operational Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), in the STS-54 crew patch. Image Credit: NASA

When the STS-54 shuttle crew released their official crew patch in the summer of 1992, they paid tribute to two important payloads aboard their mission. The first was NASA’s [...]

' ... T-9 Minutes and Counting ... ': NASA's First Secret Shuttle Flight

Since the conception of the manned spaceflight engineer programme, 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 Ellison [...]

'You and the Rest': Twenty Years Since NASA's Dramatic Hubble Repair Mission (Part 1)

Laden with tools and equipment, Jeff Hoffman waves from the end of the RMS arm during Hubble repair operations. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, the singular space shuttle mission which marked the demarcation between past and future took place. Since the resumption of flights in September 1988, following the horrific loss [...]

Astronaut Gregory H. Johnson Leaves NASA

Gregory H. Johnson, a veteran of two space shuttle missions, has left NASA for pastures new. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost half a century ago, a grainy television picture of a man bouncing around on the airless surface of the Moon convinced a 7-year-old boy to someday become an astronaut. Gregory Harold Johnson was in [...]