AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch Luch-5V on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan scheduled for 28 Apr 14 4:25:00 GMT

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'Quiet as a Crypt': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 1)

Close-up view of Discovery’s three main engines—still exhibiting evidence of scorching from their momentary ignition on 26 June 1984—in the wake of the shuttle program’s first RSLS abort. Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout its 30-year career—consciously or unconsciously—the space shuttle was acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous piloted space vehicles ever brought to [...]

NASA Dryden Now Known as NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

This painting by artist Robert McCall sums up Neil A. Armstrong’s achievements in aviation and spaceflight history. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center was renamed after Armstrong, who died in 2012, on Saturday, March 1. Image Credit: NASA (painting by Robert McCall)

New year, new name: NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air [...]

'The Tether Is Broken': The Second Flight of the Tethered Satellite (Part 2)

The Tethered Satellite System (TSS) begins its deployment from the payload bay mast on STS-75. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago this week, Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit carrying one of the most unusual experiments on record: the reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1R). Originally conceived by the late Professor Guiseppe Colombo [...]

'Rock Solid': The Second Flight of the Tethered Satellite (Part 1)

Columbia thunders into orbit on 22 February 1996, 18 years ago today. Her launch sent hearts leaping into throats within seconds of liftoff. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago today (22 February), Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit carrying one of the most unusual experiments on record: the Tethered Satellite System (TSS). Originally conceived [...]

Missed Warnings: The Fatal Flaws Which Doomed Challenger (Part 2)

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. Photo Credit: NASA

In late April 1985, three months after the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) of Mission 51C had first drawn the attention of Morton Thiokol structural engineer Roger Boisjoly, another shuttle crew took flight. Mission 51B carried [...]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 2)

“Mission Impossible” finally launches as Columbia roars into the darkened Florida skies on 12 January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

On Mission 61C, launched on this day (12 January) in 1986, Space Shuttle Columbia was making her first orbital flight in over two years. Late in January 1984, a month after returning from her STS-9 [...]

Mission 61C: The Original ‘Mission Impossible’ (Part 1)

Columbia swoops like a bird of prey into Edwards Air Force Base on 18 January 1986, just 10 days ahead of the Challenger tragedy. Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson would later refer to this mission as “The End of Innocence” … for after Challenger the shuttle program would never be the same again. Photo Credit: [...]

A Controversial Mission: 20 Years Since STS-58 (Part 2)

The Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS)-2 mission in late 1993 provided a platform for dozens of medical and biological investigations, the data from which proved critical for future expeditions to Mir and the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, one of the most complex and controversial space shuttle flights in [...]

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Resumes

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex from the air. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / awaltersphoto.com

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will resume offering Kennedy Space Center bus tours to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The bus tours, which had been suspended due to the government shutdown, are available to Visitor Complex guests starting Friday, Oct. [...]

A Controversial Mission: 20 Years Since STS-58 (Part 1)

Columbia begins her 14-day mission on 18 October 1993. Photo Credit: NASA

“John, we’re going to fly you one of these days,” Launch Director Bob Sieck called over the communications loop on 15 October 1993. “Just hang in there.”

“Nice try,” replied STS-58 Commander John Blaha, as he and his six crewmates prepared to [...]