AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
21 Oct 14 2:29:00 GMT
20 Oct 14 22:29:00 EDT

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ESA's IXV Spaceplane Readied for November Flight, While US Spaceplanes Pass Milestones

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “[The IXV] will be launched by ESA in 2014 on Vega, Europe’s new small launcher, into a suborbital path, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. After being launched into space, IXV will return to Earth as if from a low-orbit mission, testing brand-new European atmospheric reentry technologies during [...]

NASA Gives ‘GO’ to Start Construction of InSight 2016 Lander to Elucidate Mars Core

NASA’s Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission will pierce beneath the Martian surface to study its interior. Insight will hammer the deepest ever hole into the Red Planet to elucidate clues to the Martian core and how Earth-like planets formed. Launch is scheduled for March 2016. Credit: NASA

NASA [...]

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 [...]

ESA's Pesquet Assigned to 2016 Long-Duration ISS Mission

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (second from right) discusses his 2016 assignment to a long-duration ISS mission. He is flanked by the ESA’s Director General Jean Jacques Dordain, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, and the President of the French space agency, CNES, Jean-Yves Le Gall (from right to left). Photo [...]

European Space Agency Selects PLATO Observatory for Proposed 2024 Launch

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. It will also investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet discovered, [...]

Success as 70th Ariane 5 Delivers Alphasat and Insat-3D Perfectly into Orbit

The VA-214 stack undergoes final checks on the ELA-3 pad, ahead of today’s liftoff. Photo Credit: Arianespace

For the third time this year, another mammoth Ariane 5 booster has delivered a payload perfectly into orbit. Mission VA-214, the 214th flight by Arianespace’s rocket family since the maiden voyage of Ariane 1 in December 1979, [...]

Premier Vol Habité: The Story of France’s First Man in Space (Part 2)

Its descent slowed by a main parachute and its touchdown cushioned by the ignition of solid-fueled rockets, the Soyuz T-6 spacecraft lands safely on 2 July 1982, bringing France’s first spacefarer back to Earth. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de/Joachim Becker

More than thirty years have passed since France became the first Western European nation to send [...]

Premier Vol Habité: The Story of France’s First Man in Space (Part 1)

France’s first man in space, Jean-Loup Chretien, releases a flare during Black Sea training for his June 1982 mission. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de/Joachim Becker

More than thirty years have passed since France became the first Western European nation to send a man in space. For almost two decades, the “high ground” of [...]

Pléiades 1B Thunders to Orbit Atop Soyuz Rocket

Photo Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace/CSG S. Martin

Arianespace successfully launched a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at 11:02 p.m. local time. Its payload, the Pléiades 1B observation satellite, was placed into orbit shortly thereafter for the French space agency, CNES.

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