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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Integral Component of Webb Space Telescope Undergoes, Survives 'Deep Freeze' Testing

From NASA: “The view from inside NASA Goddard’s Thermal Vacuum Chamber shows the JWST [James Webb Space Telescope] heart being lowered by crane in preparation of weeks of space environment testing.” An essential component of the James Webb Space Telescope has just completed and survived vacuum testing in extremely cold conditions. Photo Credit: NASA/Chris [...]

NASA's SMAP Mission Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Begins Final Preparations for Early 2015 Launch

Scheduled for launch in early 2015, NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP mission, will track Earth’s water into one of its last hiding places: the soil. SMAP soil moisture data will, among other things, aid in predictions of agricultural productivity, weather and climate. Image Credit: NASA

“Follow the water”: This theme has driven [...]

Saturn's Moon Mimas May Have an Underground Ocean—or Just a Weird Core

Mimas, a cold, icy, and tiny moon of Saturn, may have a liquid water ocean below its heavily cratered surface. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

It wasn’t that long ago that Earth was thought to be the only place in the Solar System capable of having liquid water oceans, but now we know of several moons that [...]

Russian Cosmonauts Breeze Through Four-Hour EVA

Max Surayev (bottom) and Aleksandr Samokutyayev (top) at the Pirs airlock during their EVA on Wednesday, 22 October. Photo Credit: NASA

For the seventh time in 2014—and the third occasion in less than three weeks—a pair of spacewalkers toiled outside the International Space Station (ISS) earlier today (Wednesday, 22 October). Expedition 41 Commander Max [...]

'The Choreography Was Incredible': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit at 10:53 a.m. EST on 18 October 1993, 21 years ago yesterday. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-one years ago, yesterday, on 18 October 1993, the longest flight ever attempted in shuttle history—the 14-day STS-58 mission, carrying the second Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-2) research payload—was launched into orbit. Aboard Columbia were astronauts [...]

MESSENGER Takes First Images of Ice Near Mercury's North Pole

Wide-Angle Camera (WAC) image of Kandinsky crater, near Mercury’s north pole, which contains water ice. The original broadband image is on the left (outlined in yellow), and the brightness and contrast-enhanced version is on the right. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The Solar System is full of surprises. [...]

Reviving a 'Dream Deferred': Remembering the Flight of Apollo 7

From NASA’s Human Spaceflight Gallery: “The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, stands on the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever after suiting up for water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra, Jr.” [...]

'A Unique Opportunity': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 1)

Glorious view of the Home Planet from STS-58, with the SLS-2 Spacelab module clearly visible in Columbia’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

“John, we’re going to fly you one of these days,” Launch Director Bob Sieck called over the communications loop on 15 October 1993. The disappointment of another scrubbed launch attempt was evident [...]

New Uranus-Like 'Ice Giant' Exoplanet Discovered

Artist’s conception of an ice giant type exoplanet. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon (STScI)

Many different kinds of exoplanets have been found by astronomers, from giant “hot Jupiters” and “super Earths” to smaller rocky worlds like Earth or Mars. Now, another type has been discovered, an “ice giant” similar to Uranus or Neptune in our [...]

New Moon: LRO Discovers Evidence of Young Lunar Volcanism

A series of surface features called irregular mare patches that have been recently discovered on the Moon, are thought to be remnants of small basaltic eruptions that are indicative of lunar volcanic activity as recent as several million years ago. This image by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows one such feature, called Maskelyne. Image [...]