AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ABS 3A on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Mar 15 3:50:00 GMT
1 Mar 15 22:50:00 EST

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Now You Don't: 25 Years Since the Mysterious Mission of STS-36 (Part 2)

Atlantis rockets into the night on 28 February 1990, headed for the shuttle’s first “dogleg” maneuver and the highest orbital inclination ever attained by a U.S. piloted spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century has now passed since one of the quietest missions in the shuttle’s 30-year operational history. On 28 February […]

Now You See It: 25 Years Since the Mysterious Mission of STS-36 (Part 1)

The official crew patch for shuttle mission STS-36, which launched 25 years ago today, on 28 February 1990. Image Credit: NASA

Something strange happened in March 1990. Ground-based observers were busy tracking the orbital progress of a classified Department of Defense payload, recently deployed by the crew of Shuttle Atlantis on STS-36—Commander John “J.O.” […]

'The Most Complex So Far': What 2003 Might Have Been

Columbia roars into orbit for the 28th and final time on 16 January 2003. Eighty-two seconds into the ascent, a chunk of foam from her External Tank would spell disaster for the outcome of STS-107. Photo Credit: NASA

Twelve years ago, last weekend, Shuttle Columbia and the crew of STS-107—Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie […]

'Up Against a Wall': What 1986 Might Have Been

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years and all crews, including the other missions planned for 1986, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

On three occasions in NASA’s history, the dawn of February has brought […]

'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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Training to Fly on Boeing’s First Private CST-100 ‘Space Taxi’: One-on-One Interview With Chris Ferguson, Last Shuttle Commander (Part 2)

Boeing CST-100 manned space capsule in free flight in low-Earth orbit will transport astronaut crews to the International Space Station. Credit: Boeing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL — Boeing’s CST-100 commercial “space taxi“ will be capable of flying to the space station “as a single piloted vehicle” starting from the first manned orbital test flight in 2017, […]

Who Will Fly Aboard Boeing’s First Private CST-100 ‘Space Taxi’? One-on-One Interview With Chris Ferguson, Last Shuttle Commander

Chris Ferguson, NASA’s last space shuttle commander, works at consoles testing on-orbit, docking, and entry scenarios on the Boeing CST-100 capsule, which can fly U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017. Ferguson is now Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations for the Commercial Crew Program vying for NASA funding. Credit: NASA/Boeing

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Mission to Unveil Earth's Twisted Sister: 25 Years Since STS-30 (Part 2)

Atlantis roars into orbit on her fourth mission to deploy NASA’s Magellan spacecraft on a 15-month voyage to Venus. Photo Credit: NASA, via SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago today, on 4 May 1989, Shuttle Atlantis thundered into orbit on a remarkable mission which would unveil the planet Venus—nicknamed Earth’s “twisted sister”—in a wholly new light. During […]