ULA Delivers Four-Spacecraft Flotilla on Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully flown its highly reliable Atlas V booster out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to deliver the four-spacecraft flotilla of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) into a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) to explore the microphysics of “magnetic reconnection,” a process which converts magnetic energy into heat and […]

NASA's MMS Fleet and the Science of Magnetic Reconnection

Artist concept of MMS, a mission to study how magnetic fields release energy in a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical observatories that will fly in a tight formation and provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. Photo Credit: NASA

Artist’s concept of MMS, a mission to study how magnetic fields release energy in a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical observatories that will fly in a tight formation and provide the first 3-D view of magnetic reconnection. Photo Credit: NASA

Another NASA mission is about to blast into the magnetosphere. […]

Landing Region Chosen for InSight at T-Minus One Year to Red Planet Launch

In the weeks after NASA’s InSight mission reaches Mars in September 2016, the lander’s arm will lift two science instruments off the deck and place them onto the ground. This image shows testing of InSight’s robotic arm at JPL about two years before it will perform these tasks on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At T-minus […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]