AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 24 Jul 14 22:59:00 GMT

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'Neat People': The Unflown International Mission of STS-61H (Part 1)

The view of the Home Planet from low-Earth orbit has been enjoyed by relatively few humans. Had the hands of fate turned more kindly, in June 1986 it might have been witnessed by a crew of U.S., British, and Indonesian astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

It has been almost a quarter of a century [...]

Second Stage 'Pressure Decrease' Issue Scrubs Falcon 9 Launch Attempt

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 must wait a little longer to deliver Orbcomm’s first six OG-2 satellites into orbit. Photo Credit: Ken Kremer

Six Orbcomm Generation-2 (OG-2) satellites must wait a little longer for their ride into low-Earth orbit, as SpaceX identified an apparent “pressure decrease” in the second stage of its Falcon 9 v1.1 [...]

Long-Delayed Falcon 9 Ready to Boost Six OG-2 Satellites on Friday, 20 June

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 stands ready for its static hot-fire test on Friday, 13 June. Photo Credit: Ken Kremer

After many delays, SpaceX is ready to launch its fifth Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket on Friday, 20 June, with liftoff currently scheduled to occur at 6:08 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-40 at Cape Canaveral [...]

'The Sultans of Space': The Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 2)

Pictured on Discovery’s aft flight deck, the STS-51G crew featured three discrete sovereign nations for the first time in shuttle history. Front row, from left, are John Creighton, Shannon Lucid, and Dan Brandenstein, with Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Steve Nagel, John Fabian, and Patrick Baudry in the background. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost three decades ago, [...]

'The Sultans of Space': The Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 1)

By the end of his seven days in space, Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had given up looking for his own country, or even his own continent, and came to realize that all humans belonged to just “One World.” It is a message which continues to resonate today. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost three decades ago, on [...]

Date With an Alligator: The Trials of Gemini IX-A (Part 2)

Gene Cernan’s EVA was the longest to date, by far the most complex … and intrinsically hazardous. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost five decades ago, one of the hairiest and most difficult missions in America’s space history unfolded. Gemini IX-A was already complex—a three-day flight, involving rendezvous, docking, maneuvering, and spacewalking—but had endured additional challenges: [...]

Popeye Forearms: The Challenge of Gemini IX-A (Part 1)

An exhausted Gene Cernan can barely manage a grimace for Tom Stafford’s camera after completing his spacewalk on Gemini IX-A. Had the hands of fate played out a little differently, this seat might instead have been occupied by Charlie Bassett. Photo Credit: NASA

In the late spring of 1966, the Gemini IX mission seemed [...]

'The Saddest Moment': The Story of America's First Spacewalk (Part 2)

Clasping the cold-gas maneuvering gun in his right hand, and trailed by a snake-like tether, Ed White tumbles over a cloud-speckled Earth during the United States’ first EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost half a century ago, in the first week of June 1965, the the United States took a huge step forward in its [...]

'Examinations of Some Kind': The Story of America's First Spacewalk (Part 1)

Ed White performs America’s first EVA outside Gemini IV in June 1965. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost half a century ago, in the first week of June 1965, the the United States took a huge step forward in its drive to land a man on the Moon. Aboard Gemini IV, astronauts Jim McDivitt and Ed [...]

Mission for Science and Technology: 18 Years Since STS-77 (Part 2)

Fully deployed, the Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) sprouts from the SPARTAN-207 satellite. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago this week, six men orbited Earth aboard Shuttle Endeavour on one of the most complex research flights ever conducted in the program’s 30-year history. With such a large number of payloads aboard, it was imperative for [...]