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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First Mission to Dwarf Planet Set for Ceres Arrival, Sees Surprising 'Bright Spots' Beyond Compare

Ceres awaits Dawn with two totally unique bright spots inside crater. Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA’s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). Dawn observed Ceres for a […]

The Coming of SMAP, Part Two: SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle

The launch of NASA’s latest Earth Science mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta-II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Jan. 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Story and Interviews by Chris Howell, with: Dr. Simon Yueh, JPL SMAP Senior Research Scientist Dr. […]

Ceres Reveals Eye-Like Bright Spots, Mr. Spock Explains Dawn

This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A scientific mystery on dwarf planet Ceres—worthy of investigation […]

Ceres Shows Mystifying Faces and Perplexing White Spots to NASA’s Dawn

Two mystifying faces of Ceres These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A fresh set of images of dwarf planet Ceres […]

AmericaSpace Imagery Team Capture Rare Launch of Venerable Delta II

With only two more NASA missions ahead of it, in the 2017-18 timeframe, the curtain appears to be falling on the Delta II. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher/AmericaSpace

Last Saturday morning, AmericaSpace’s imagery team witnessed a rare pre-dawn liftoff of the highly reliable Delta II booster, carrying the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite […]

Sharpest Views of Mysterious 'Planet' Ceres Now Better Than Hubble, Tantalize Scientists

Comparison of Ceres images taken from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Jan. 25, 2015, and the Hubble Space Telescope up to January 2004. What is the nature of the ‘White Spot’ visible in both images? What new features are being revealed by Dawn? Dawn Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA. HST Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), […]

Dazzling Delta II Delivers SMAP to Orbit in Stunning Pre-Dawn Ascent

With the flare of its RS-27A first-stage engine and trio of Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs), the Delta II takes flight at 6:22 a.m. PST Saturday, 31 January. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

Continuing a proud heritage of near-perfect mission success, which stretches back across more than a quarter-century, the 153rd Delta II booster broke the […]

PHOTOS: Delta-II Ready for SMAP Launch Attempt #2 From California Saturday Morning

The ULA Delta-II tasked with launching NASA’s SMAP Earth Science satellite / mission. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Mother Nature and a relatively minor technical issue forced ULA to keep their Delta-II rocket, and NASA’s SMAP satellite, grounded at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California the last few days, but as of […]

NASA's SMAP Environmental Watcher Ready for Thursday Launch Atop Delta II

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft undergoes checkout in Astrotech’s payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: ULA

For the 153rd time in its quarter-century of operational service, the thunderous roar of a Delta II booster will rattle Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, 29 January, carrying NASA’s […]

SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle: Another Step Forward in Solving Climate Puzzle

NASA JPL Earth Science Senior Research Scientist Dr. Simon Yueh has played an important role in several Earth Science missions, including the upcoming SMAP mission launching from Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 29. Photo Credit: Chris Howell / AmericaSpace

A meeting in two parts with NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Scientist/Aquarius Project Scientist (scatterometer) Dr. […]