AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 25 Jul 14 22:55:00 GMT

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'A Woman in the Driver's Seat': Remembering STS-93, First Flight Helmed by a Female Shuttle Commander

The STS-93 crew poses with a model of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This shuttle mission also entered into the history books for having the first female commander (Eileen Collins, here joined by Steven Hawley, Jerry Ashby, Michel Tognini, and Cady Coleman). Photo Credit: NASA

The 2009 book Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to [...]

Kennedy Space Center's Operations and Checkout Building Renamed after 'First Man' Neil Armstrong

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden presents Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Director Bob Cabana with a flown Apollo 11 patch. Someday, this patch will be flown on the first manned Mars mission, to be helmed by NASA’s Orion spacecraft. This presentation took place during today’s renaming of KSC’s Operations and Checkout Building. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

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'For One Priceless Moment': 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Changed the World (Part 4)

One of the relatively few images of Neil Armstrong at work on the lunar surface, close to Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

On Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, Texas, was filled with tension and expectant quiet. [...]

'Tranquility Base Here': 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Changed the World (Part 3)

The Home Planet creeps slowly above the lunar horizon, as viewed from Apollo 11. Only a handful of men have seen this view in more than two million years of human history. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this weekend, on Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned [...]

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 [...]

'What's Tab November?': The Independence Day Mission of STS-4 (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit on 27 June 1982, kicking off the STS-4 mission. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

More than three decades ago, on Independence Day (4 July) in 1982, Columbia triumphantly touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., concluding the fourth shuttle mission. Aboard the reusable spacecraft were Commander Ken Mattingly and Pilot [...]

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. [...]

'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 [...]

'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 [...]