AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
31 Jan 15 14:20:42 GMT
31 Jan 15 6:20:42 PST
31 Jan 15 9:20:42 Eastern

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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 […]

'Fire in the Cockpit': Remembering the Sacrifice of Apollo 1

After the first cry from Roger Chaffee (left), even super-fit Ed White (center) was unable to even fully release the first bolt from the command module’s inner hatch before he was overcome by fumes. The most likely origin of the fire was somewhere beneath the seat of Gus Grissom (right). Photo Credit: NASA

Almost […]

At T-2 Years, NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing Discuss Return of US Human Spaceflight Capability

SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell responds to a question, as Boeing’s John Elbon and NASA’s Kathy Lueders look on. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Four months after NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX as the winners of the Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase of the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program—with total contracts valued at $6.8 billion—six key […]

SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle: Another Step Forward in Solving Climate Puzzle

NASA JPL Earth Science Senior Research Scientist Dr. Simon Yueh has played an important role in several Earth Science missions, including the upcoming SMAP mission launching from Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 29. Photo Credit: Chris Howell / AmericaSpace

A meeting in two parts with NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Scientist/Aquarius Project Scientist (scatterometer) Dr. […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 1)

Mission 51C roars into orbit on 24 January 1985, kicking off the shuttle program’s first dedicated Department of Defense assignment. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term which is often applied to many aspects of the space program: to Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight to the accomplishment of the first manned lunar landing or to […]

'Man of Destiny': Astronaut Tom Jones Turns 60 Today

Tom Jones waves during his first career EVAs on STS-98, the mission which installed the U.S. Destiny laboratory onto the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tom Jones—a man who did, then didn’t, and then did again, embark on the hundredth spacewalk in U.S. history—turns 60 today (Thursday, 22 […]

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 […]

Impressive 13 Missions On Tap for ULA in 2015

The MUOS-3 payload, encapsulated within its bulbous payload fairing, is readied for installation atop the Atlas V 551. This will be the first of 13 missions planned by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2015. Photo Credit: ULA

As it enters its ninth year of operations since its formation as a merger between Boeing and […]

Most Powerful Atlas V Ready to Boost Heavyweight MUOS-3 Satellite to Orbit on Tuesday

The bulbous payload fairing and MUOS-3 undergo preparations for installation atop the Atlas V 551. Photo Credit: ULA

After completing a banner 14 flights last year, United Launch Alliance (ULA)—the Centennial, Colo.-based operator of the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Delta II boosters out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air […]

One-Year Crew Reflects at T-10 Weeks on Baseball, the Grass of Home, and Singing With Sarah

The Soyuz TMA-16M crew consists of (from left to right) U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennadi Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

With only 10 weeks remaining until their launch aboard Soyuz TMA-16M to the International Space Station (ISS), U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennadi Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko […]