AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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Through a Glass, Darkly: Reflections on EFT-1 and Shadows of Apollo (Part 1)

Stunning panorama of Earth from Orion’s high-apogee mission on Friday, 5 December. No human-capable vehicle has “seen” the Home Planet from this altitude for more than four decades. Photo Credit: NASA

Yesterday, a machine designed to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in more than four decades came screaming back through […]

Delta IV Heavy Successfully Delivers EFT-1 Orion on High-Apogee Maiden Voyage

Haunting view of the trio of RS-68 plumes punctuating the dawn sky of Cape Canaveral, heralding the dawn of a new era. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

After an agonizing 24-hour delay, the ground shook at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today, with the rousing liftoff, just minutes after sunrise, of United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) […]

The Future Starts Now? At T-1 Day and Counting, Orion Stands Ready for Thursday Launch

The EFT-1 Orion spacecraft, encapsulated within its payload shroud and topped by the Launch Abort System (LAS), is lowered into position atop the Delta IV Heavy. Photo Credit: NASA

Despite the increasingly gloomy prospect of mostly cloudy skies over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with only a 60 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions, […]

Best Public Viewing Locations to Watch Thursday's Orion EFT-1 Launch

The ULA Delta-IV Heavy in action. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

Thousands of space enthusiasts and spectators are flocking to Florida’s “Space Coast” this week to witness the world’s most powerful rocket launch NASA’s deep space Orion crew capsule on Thursday, Dec. 4 (7:05 a.m. EST liftoff). Hotels throughout Brevard County have been […]

Ready for the High Jump: NASA's Orion Spacecraft Primed for Maiden Voyage (Part 2)

Under EFT-1, Orion will conduct two orbits of the Earth and then return to Earth at a blistering 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h). This test will prove out Orion’s heat shield, parachute, and other crucial systems. Image Credit: NASA

After more than a decade of planning and preparation, excitement, and frustration, NASA is ready to […]

Ready for the High Jump: NASA's Orion Spacecraft Primed for Maiden Voyage (Part 1)

Orion’s Crew Module, seen here with its heat shield installed, being maneuvered for stacking on the spacecraft’s Service Module. Photo Credit: NASA

After more than a decade of planning and preparation, excitement, and frustration, NASA is ready to launch the first human-capable vehicle for Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) exploration in more than four decades […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 4)

The Orion spacecraft and its Launch Abort System (LAS) for the Exploration pause briefly outside the historic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), during their journey to Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37B. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

After more than a decade of planning, preparation, frustration and cancellation, in just 11 days’ time the first human-capable vehicle for […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 3)

The “business end” of the three Common Booster Cores (CBCs) for the Delta IV Heavy are readied for America’s next step towards deep space. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

Twelve days now remain before the long-awaited launch of Orion—the first human-capable vehicle for Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) exploration in more than four decades—on its inaugural […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 1)

An artist’s rendering of December’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) test, which will take the Orion capsule 3,600 miles (5,800 km) into space. Image Credit: NASA

For any astronomer, Orion is a relatively straightforward constellation to find in the night sky. Honoring the hunter of ancient Greek myth, its “belt” of three stars—the supergiants Alnitak, […]

EFT-1 Orion Assembly and Testing Complete, Roll Out to Launch Complex-37 GO for Monday Night

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is seen here, complete, inside the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Fla., on Oct. 30, 2014. The spacecraft is scheduled to roll out to nearby Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to meet its rocket for a scheduled Dec. 4 launch on […]