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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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 […]

ULA Prepares for Fifth Atlas V 501 Mission to Deliver Classified NROL-39 Payload to Orbit

Like February’s flight of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), the NROL-39 payload will be launched atop an Atlas V in its “501” configuration. Photo Credit: ULA / Pat Corkery

For only the fifth time in its history, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is primed to fly an Atlas V in its “501” configuration Thursday, […]

CASSIOPE Mission Delayed After 'Anomalies' During Hot Fire Test

Tweeted by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last week, the Falcon 9 v1.1 boasts uprated Merlin-1D engines and a 43-foot-long bullet-like payload fairing to encapsulate the CASSIOPE payload. Photo Credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk

SpaceX’s long-awaited “Flight Six” of its Falcon 9 rocket—the first in the new “v1.1″ configuration, powered by uprated Merlin-1D engines—must wait a little […]

NASA Exercises First ELVIS-2 Contract Option

Setting for the most historic events in human history, the Kennedy Space Center is the primary base for the ELVIS-2 contract. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA has exercised the first option on a contract which provides integrated services to prepare and launch the next generation of scientific and exploration missions. The two-year Option Period 1 […]