Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 2)

The Outboard Antenna of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) extends 200 feet (60 meters) into space atop a mast extended from Endeavour’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the six-member crew of STS-99—Commander Kevin Kregel, Pilot Dom Gorie, and Mission Specialists Janet Kavandi, Janice Voss, Germany’s Gerhard Thiele, and […]

Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 1)

Computer-generated image of Endeavour performing radar observations with instruments in her payload bay and affixed to the deployable Outboard Antenna on STS-99. Image Credit: NASA

At the dawn of the year 2000, more precise radar maps existed of Venus—thanks to NASA’s Magellan imaging spacecraft—than of our own Home Planet. Although areas of Earth had […]

'Third Time Lucky': SpaceX Successfully Launches DSCOVR on Three-Month, Million-Mile Trek to L1

After more than a decade of delay and disappointment, Triana has risen again as the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), rocketing into space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 booster at 6:03 p.m. EST Wednesday. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

Following two scrubs in three days, caused by a combination of problematic high-level winds and […]

'Open-Ended': What 1967 Might Have Been

The Apollo 1 crew, pictured during training, would have embarked on an open-ended mission of up to 14 days in duration in February-March 1967. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Figuratively and literally, February is a gloomy month, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere—a four-week period of darkness, plunging temperatures, and poor weather, with the […]

Farthest-Flying SpaceX Payload Set for Sunday Night Launch (Part 2)

The Falcon 9 v1.1 launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on 10 January 2015. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

Less than a month since it successfully delivered the fifth dedicated Dragon cargo craft into orbit, headed for the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX—the Hawthorne, Calif.-based launch services provider, headed by entrepreneur […]

Farthest-Flying SpaceX Payload Set for Sunday Night Launch (Part 1)

DSCOVR mission logo. Image Credit: NOAA/NASA/U.S. Air Force

Conceived in a dream by a former Vice President of the United States, hamstrung by a rapidly increasing price tag, disparagingly nicknamed “a multi-million-dollar screen saver,” grounded in the wake of a steadily shrinking shuttle flight schedule and the Columbia disaster and finally revived and given a […]

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. […]