AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
31 Jan 15 14:22:00 GMT
31 Jan 15 6:22:00 PST
31 Jan 15 9:22:00 Eastern

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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 […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 1)

Mission 51C roars into orbit on 24 January 1985, kicking off the shuttle program’s first dedicated Department of Defense assignment. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term which is often applied to many aspects of the space program: to Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight to the accomplishment of the first manned lunar landing or to […]

'Man of Destiny': Astronaut Tom Jones Turns 60 Today

Tom Jones waves during his first career EVAs on STS-98, the mission which installed the U.S. Destiny laboratory onto the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tom Jones—a man who did, then didn’t, and then did again, embark on the hundredth spacewalk in U.S. history—turns 60 today (Thursday, 22 […]

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to Celebrate Apollo 13's 45th Anniversary

Fred Haise, Jack Swigert, and Jim Lovell pose for a pre-flight photo days before their mission. Photo Credit: NASA/The Project Apollo Image Gallery via the Project Apollo Archive

It is perhaps one of the most well-known, oft-repeated stories in the history of human spaceflight. In April 1970, an oxygen tank explosion in Apollo 13’s […]

Atlas V Heavylifter Successfully Delivers MUOS-3 Satellite to Orbit

The Atlas V 551 rockets into the darkened Florida sky at 8:04 p.m. EST Tuesday, 20 January, to deliver MUOS-3 into orbit. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully begun the delivery of one of its largest and heaviest payloads—the latest member of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective […]

Impressive 13 Missions On Tap for ULA in 2015

The MUOS-3 payload, encapsulated within its bulbous payload fairing, is readied for installation atop the Atlas V 551. This will be the first of 13 missions planned by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2015. Photo Credit: ULA

As it enters its ninth year of operations since its formation as a merger between Boeing and […]

Most Powerful Atlas V Ready to Boost Heavyweight MUOS-3 Satellite to Orbit on Tuesday

The bulbous payload fairing and MUOS-3 undergo preparations for installation atop the Atlas V 551. Photo Credit: ULA

After completing a banner 14 flights last year, United Launch Alliance (ULA)—the Centennial, Colo.-based operator of the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Delta II boosters out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air […]

Who Is This? Remembering the Flight of STS-81 (Part 2)

The combined shuttle and Mir crews, pictured during the STS-81 visiting mission in January 1997. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Almost two decades ago, America’s shuttle program began living up to its billing as a vehicle for delivering experiments, equipment, and supplies to an Earth-circling space station. And in the small hours of […]

One-Year Crew Reflects at T-10 Weeks on Baseball, the Grass of Home, and Singing With Sarah

The Soyuz TMA-16M crew consists of (from left to right) U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennadi Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

With only 10 weeks remaining until their launch aboard Soyuz TMA-16M to the International Space Station (ISS), U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennadi Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko […]

Stepping Stones to Space Station: Remembering the Flight of STS-81 (Part 1)

Atlantis roars into the night on 12 January 1997, kicking off the shuttle program’s fifth docking mission to Mir. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Almost two decades ago, America’s shuttle program began living up to its billing as a vehicle for delivering experiments, equipment, and supplies to an Earth-circling space station. And in […]