AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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NASA Gives ‘GO’ to Start Construction of InSight 2016 Lander to Elucidate Mars Core

NASA’s Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission will pierce beneath the Martian surface to study its interior. Insight will hammer the deepest ever hole into the Red Planet to elucidate clues to the Martian core and how Earth-like planets formed. Launch is scheduled for March 2016. Credit: NASA

NASA [...]

Curiosity Drills Deep Into 3rd Mars Rock at ‘Kimberley’ for Enticing Science Bounty

Curiosity’s Panoramic view of Mount Remarkable at “The Kimberley Waypoint” where the rover conducted its third drilling campaign inside Gale Crater on Mars. The navcam raw images were taken on Sol 603, April 17, 2014, stitched and colorized. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com/Marco Di Lorenzo Featured on APOD – Astronomy Picture of the Day [...]

Curiosity Starts Martian Drilling Into Intriguing Bumpy Outcrops at ‘Kimberley’

Curiosity snaps a new selfie at Kimberley waypoint with towering Mount Sharp backdrop on April 27, 2014 (Sol 613). Inset shows MAHLI camera image of rovers mini-drill test operation on April 29, 2014 (Sol 615), into “Windjama” rock target at Mount Remarkable butte. MAHLI color photo mosaic assembled from raw images snapped on Sol [...]

Meet NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, the Next Step in Landing on Mars

The LDSD test article in the clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, preparing for shipment to Hawaii for its first test launch this summer. LDSD will help land bigger space payloads on Mars or return them back to Earth. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace / Robert Fisher

Anyone even remotely familiar with landing spacecraft and [...]

Why NASA's Plans for an Early 2020s Mission to Europa Are Likely to Happen

Europa mission concepts under study by NASA. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

For years scientists and dreamers alike have looked toward Jupiter’s moon Europa with a keen interest, because decades of observations and research of the frozen world (thanks to spacecraft like Galileo and Voyager) have shown us that the Jovian satellite is easily one of [...]

Mars Jelly Doughnut Mystery Solved, and It's Not an Alien or a Doughnut

This before-and-after pair of images of the same patch of ground in front of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity 13 days apart documents the arrival of a bright rock onto the scene. The rover had completed a short drive just before taking the second image, and one of its wheels likely knocked the rock—dubbed [...]

Mars Odyssey Orbiter Repositioned to Observe Possible Water Processes on Martian Surface

An artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft orbiting Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.—in cooperation with Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, Colo.—recently fired up the thrusters on the space agency’s longest-serving Mars explorer in an attempt to study the planet’s surface during Martian dawn. Mars [...]

Happy Birthday, DSN: NASA's Iconic Deep Space Communication Network Turns 50

The 70-meter antenna at Goldstone, Calif., one of the Deep Space Network facilities. The DSN celebrates, this month, its 50th anniversary of history-making operations. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The history of spaceflight is full of missions that have celebrated important milestones in space during Christmas Eve—from Apollo 8’s manned flight into lunar orbit in 1968 [...]

Curiosity Determines Ancient Lake Was Habitable, While MRO Suggests Water Might Still Flow on Mars

This illustration depicts a concept for the possible extent of an ancient lake inside Gale Crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This week, NASA released some very interesting findings regarding water on Mars, from both the agency’s Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It has been known for years that Mars did indeed have liquid [...]

MAVEN Begins 490-Million-Mile Journey to Reveal Secrets About Mars' Ancient History

The workhorse ULA Atlas-V rocket thunders into overcast skies with NASA’s $670 million MAVEN mission Monday afternoon, beginning a 10-month, half-billion mile journey to Mars. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace / Alex Menendez (www.instinctfilms.com)

After a decade of work from a team spread across the country, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft is on its way to Mars, beginning [...]