AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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Space for Everyone: 30 Years Since STS-41G, Progress in Spaceflight Diversity

The crew of STS-41G, 1984: Seated (from left) are Jon McBride, Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, and Dave Leestma, with (from left) Paul Scully-Power, Bob Crippen, and Marc Garneau standing. This mission proved to be a watershed moment in spaceflight diversity in a year of firsts. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago yesterday (Oct. 5, [...]

'Desk in the Middle of a Prairie': 30 Years Since Shuttle Mission 41G and America's First Female Spacewalk (Part 2)

Dave Leestma (with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Kathy Sullivan work on the refuelling experiment during their historic EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, today (on 5 October 1984), history was made when Shuttle Challenger rocketed into orbit on Mission 41G, an ambitious science and technology flight. On-board was [...]

'What Did You Guys Do?' 30 Years Since Shuttle Mission 41G and America's First Female Spacewalk (Part 1)

On Mission 41G, which took place 30 years ago, this week, Kathy Sullivan became the first U.S. female spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, on 5 October 1984, history was made when Shuttle Challenger rocketed into orbit on Mission 41G, an ambitious science and technology flight. On-board was the largest crew [...]

Hank Hartsfield, Shuttle Discovery's First Commander, Dies Aged 80

Hank Hartsfield (left), pictured with crewmate Ken Mattingly, shortly before the launch of STS-4 in June 1982. Photo Credit: NASA

Former NASA astronaut Hank Hartsfield, a veteran of three shuttle missions in the early 1980s—including command of the maiden voyage of the fleet leader, Discovery—passed away earlier today (Thursday, 17 July), reportedly due to [...]

'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 [...]

Veteran Astronauts Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas Depart NASA

Between them, Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas launched aboard no less than seven shuttle missions. This view shows the early-morning ascent of STS-77 on 19 May 1996, which marked Thomas’ first flight. Photo Credit: NASA

With seven space missions, two EVAs, and almost 200 cumulative days in orbit between them, two of NASA’s best [...]

The Astronaut As Enigma: An Interview With Lynn Sherr, Author of 'Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space'

Journalist Lynn Sherr’s new biography illuminates the professional and personal accomplishments of one very unique spaceflight pioneer: Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space. Photo Credit: NASA

Sally Ride, like Neil Armstrong before her, was an American pioneer who was (understandably) more than a little reluctant about being placed under the media’s microscope. [...]

Wubbo Ockels, Holland's First Citizen in Space, Dies Aged 68

Wubbo Ockels (fourth from left) poses with his fellow 61A crewmates and backup Ulf Merbold (in dark suit) before the October 1985 mission. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Wubbo Ockels, Holland’s first man in space and a member of the only shuttle mission to launch and land with a crew of eight, died earlier today [...]

'The Shuttle Begins': Book Review of 'Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972–1986,' by David Hitt and Heather R. Smith

Bold They Rise, by authors David Hitt and Heather R. Smith, captures the excitement of the early space shuttle days, including highlights from this 1984 mission, STS-41D. Photo Credit: NASA

Heywood Floyd: …What? What’s going to happen? Dave Bowman: Something wonderful. — 2010: The Year We Make Contact, 1984

It would be easy to [...]

The Future That Wasn't: The Hermes Spaceplane

Hermes, Europe’s spaceplane, is depicted coasting in orbit in an artist’s rendering. Image Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

The prose in the 1986 Aerospatiale advertisement was breathless: “10 years old, and still 20 years ahead,” it started. The ad continued, “At Aerospatiale, addressing the exciting aerospace challenges of tomorrow means capitalizing on the daring [...]