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. […]

Orion: Lessons Learned on EFT-1 and Moving Forward to EM-1

Whole capsule view of Orion heat shield and compression pads during homecoming event for NASA’s first Orion spacecraft after returning to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 19, 2014. Orion launched successfully on Dec. 5, 2014 and was recovered from the Pacific Ocean by the U.S. Navy . Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/AmericaSpace

Contractors […]

MAVEN Plunges to Ascertain Ancient Atmospheric Depletion at Mars

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft is depicted in orbit around an artistic rendition of planet Mars, which is shown in transition from its ancient, water-covered past to the cold, dry, dusty world that it has become today. Credit: NASA Story updated with additional comments from the science principal investigator

Sometimes you have to take the plunge […]

NASA's MMS Fleet Ready for Mission to Study Magnetic Reconnection in Earth's Magnetosphere

All four of NASA’s MMS spacecraft in the clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., completed and stacked for launch atop a ULA Atlas-V rocket as early as March 12, 2015. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

In a few weeks four identically-instrumented NASA spacecraft will launch on the space agency’s next […]

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 […]

Atlas V Heavylifter Successfully Delivers MUOS-3 Satellite to Orbit

The Atlas V 551 rockets into the darkened Florida sky at 8:04 p.m. EST Tuesday, 20 January, to deliver MUOS-3 into orbit. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully begun the delivery of one of its largest and heaviest payloads—the latest member of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective […]