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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Reusable Rocket Systems Eyed For ULA’s Next Generation Launchers

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta-IV Heavy will be totally phased out by the BE-4 methane powered Next Generation Launch System (NGLS). Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Reusable rocket elements will likely be part of the Next Generation Launch System (NGLS) being unveiled by United Launch Alliance (ULA) at the 31st National Space […]

Air Force Weather Satellite Space Debris Hazard a Concern

DMSP Air Force weather satellite is depicted in polar orbit near Alaska. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., is monitoring a cloud of new space debris in polar orbit to notify operational satellite controllers about potential collision hazards for critical military and civilian […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Secretive Vandenberg Launch Caps 14-Mission Banner Year for ULA

The Atlas V 541 spears into the darkened Vandenberg sky at 7:19 p.m. PST Friday, 12 December, completing ULA’s 14th mission of 2014. Photo Credit: ULA

After a 24-hour delay, Friday night’s successful 7:19 p.m. PST launch of the classified NROL-35 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, atop an Atlas V 541 booster from […]

Vandenberg's Most Powerful Atlas V Mission to Shake West Coast Launch Site on Thursday

Twice used, the Atlas V 541 saw its maiden launch in November 2011, delivering NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the Curiosity rover on their voyage to the Red Planet. Thursday’s NROL-35 mission will be the first 541 to fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: Mike Killian

In direct contrast to […]