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AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch MUOS-3 on a Atlas V 551 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
21 Jan 15 1:04:00 GMT
20 Jan 15 20:04:00 EST

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The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 2)

Since the conception of the Manned Spaceflight Engineer (MSE) program, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 1)

Mission 51C roars into orbit on 24 January 1985, kicking off the shuttle program’s first dedicated Department of Defense assignment. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term which is often applied to many aspects of the space program: to Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight to the accomplishment of the first manned lunar landing or to […]

Jerry Linenger, First American to Make Spacewalk in Russian EVA Suit, Turns 60 Today

Pictured during his STS-64 mission in September 1994, Jerry Linenger’s later career saw him become the first U.S. astronaut to perform a spacewalk on a non-U.S. spacecraft, wearing a non-U.S. space suit. Photo Credit: NASA

Former shuttle flier and Mir resident Jerry Linenger—who holds the unenviable reputation of becoming the first “Hog” in history […]

‘For a Deeper Understanding': 15 Years Since the Third Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 2)

Orbital sunrise causes the solar arrays of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to glisten in this spectacular view from STS-103. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, next week, seven men with ancestries in four sovereign nations—the United States, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom—embarked on one of the most difficult flights of the entire […]

'A Question of Losing Science': 15 Years Since the Third Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 1)

Fifteen years ago, NASA launched its third shuttle crew to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The iconic observatory remains functional to this day. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, next week, Shuttle Discovery rocketed into orbit on a mission to dramatically service and repair the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). In doing so, the […]

Shuttle on the Night Shift: 25 Years Since STS-33

STS-33 was the first nocturnal shuttle launch and landing of the post-Challenger era; entirely appropriate, perhaps, in light of the shroud of darkness which covered its primary payload. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, in November 1989, the shuttle embarked on its first launch and landing in the hours of darkness since […]

'Stop the Clock': 30 Years Since the Rescue of Westar and Palapa (Part 2)

Discovery thunders into orbit on 8 November 1984 to begin the first shuttle mission to deploy and retrieve two pairs of spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

By the summer of 1984, the space shuttle had enjoyed success and disappointment in equal measure. Astronauts had successfully tested a new jet-propelled backpack, the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU), […]

Halcyon Days: 30 Years Since the Rescue of Westar and Palapa (Part 1)

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a “For Sale” sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

Early in February 1984, astronaut Joe Allen was at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, watching his former crewmate Vance Brand […]

US Space Walk of Fame Museum Dedicates New Space Shuttle Monument

A view of Space View Park’s shuttle monument, which was dedicated this past weekend. This monument pays tribute to the thousands of workers and engineers who made the shuttle program a success, despite adversity. Photo Credit: Space View Park website (http://www.nbbd.com/godo/spaceviewpark/)

This past Saturday morning, on Nov. 1, various space luminaries, shuttle astronauts, members […]

'To Make Sure We Didn't Make the News': The High-Altitude Mission of STS-48 (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on 12 September 1991 to begin a five-day mission to deploy the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). Photo Credit: NASA

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing—though not unexpected—fire show. NASA’s 13,000-pound (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), launched two decades earlier, […]