AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
26 Aug 14 5:50:00 GMT
26 Aug 14 1:50:00 EDT

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Orion and Dragon Parachute Systems Undergo Flight Tests in Preparation for Crewed Missions

The SpaceX main parachutes control the descent of the Dragon test article (RIGHT) following a drop test over the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif. On the left, a test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft touches down in the Arizona desert after its most complicated parachute test to date. Photos Credit: [...]

Chasing the Dream of Suborbital Space Tourism: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two Successfully Conducts Third Powered Test Flight

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two—pictured here—recently conducted its third successful flight test in a row, reaching its highest altitude to date of 71,000 ft. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic, the private space company that aims to become the first commercial spaceliner in the world, kicked 2014 into high gear with the third successful powered [...]

Heat Shield for Orion EFT-1 Spacecraft Arrives at Kennedy for Installation

The heat shield for NASA’s Orion EFT-1 spacecraft being unloaded off the agency’s Super Guppy heavy transport aircraft at Kennedy Space Center last Wednesday. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace / Shawn Jakway

For nearly 18 months work has continued on NASA’s Orion spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center, where the capsule is currently being constructed for its [...]

'If Something Happens': Mission 51I and the End of an Era

The sheer size of the 15,000-pound Leasat-3 satellite is illustrated in this view of James “Ox” van Hoften manhandling it into space on Mission 51I. Photo Credit: NASA

For Dick Covey, the pilot of Mission 51I, the instant that Space Shuttle Discovery broke the shackles of Earth on the cusp of daybreak on 27 [...]

Atlas V Stands Ready to Loft Classified OTV-3 Mini-Shuttle

The X-37B’s deployable solar array enables it to ‘loiter’ in low-Earth orbit for far longer than the Shuttle could ever achieve. With two missions behind it—the first of which lasted 224 days, the second 469—it remains to be seen how long OTV-3 will remain aloft. Image Credit: Boeing Phantom Works

After several delays, United [...]

A Meeting of Minds: The Earth-Centred Voyage of STS-45

Surrounded by the black spheres of the SEPAC experiment, ATLAS-1 represented the first Shuttle payload fully dedicated to exploring the relationship between the Earth’s atmosphere and its interaction with the Sun. Photo Credit: NASA

Two remarkable men met on the morning of 2 April 1992, three months into International Space Year. One of them [...]

“In the Dental Chair”: Endeavour on Stage for Five EVAs

Laden with tools and equipment, Jeff Hoffman waves from the end of the RMS arm during Hubble repair operations. Photo Credit: NASA

In the small hours of 4 December 1993, Endeavour – the youngest of NASA’s fleet of Space Shuttle orbiters – closed in on the Hubble Space Telescope. In doing so, she prepared [...]

Neil Armstrong: Landing on the Earth, Landing on the Moon

At the time of writing, only five Americans – Jim McDivitt, Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong, Gerry Carr and Joe Engle – have commanded a crew on their very first orbital space mission. Armstrong is here pictured shortly before embarking on Gemini VIII – an already complex rendezvous, docking and EVA extravaganza, which quickly turned [...]

Content To Be Decided: NASA’s ‘C-Prime’ Decision

In a view never seen by human eyes before Christmas Eve 1968, the distant Earth rises above the lunar limb. The ‘C-Prime’ decision had paid off in spectacular fashion. Photo Credit: NASA

Seven has long been considered a lucky and mystical number. From the week of Creation in Christian tradition to the number of [...]

Launch Minus Nine Days: The Space Rescue That Never Was

Impressive view of the Apollo command and service modules docked to Skylab. Two of the four ‘quads’ of manoeuvring thrusters are clearly visible, spaced at 90-degree intervals around the circumference of the service module. On Skylab 3, the failure of two of these sets of quads almost led to the implementation of the first [...]