AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ABS 3A on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Mar 15 3:50:00 GMT
1 Mar 15 22:50:00 EST

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The Flight That Wasn't: 30 Years Since the Unflown Mission 51E (Part 2)

In its third incarnation, the mission of Karol “Bo” Bobko finally takes flight on 12 April 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Three decades ago, the shuttle program appeared bulletproof. In 1984, astronauts embarked on untethered EVAs, deployed satellites and performed scientific research, retrieved and repaired the crippled Solar Max observatory, and salvaged […]

'Up Against a Wall': What 1986 Might Have Been

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years and all crews, including the other missions planned for 1986, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

On three occasions in NASA’s history, the dawn of February has brought […]

'Next Time, We Will Shake Your Hand': 20 Years Since STS-63 (Part 2)

The Mir space station, as viewed by the crew of STS-63. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, next week, in February 1995, U.S. astronauts Jim Wetherbee, Eileen Collins, Bernard Harris, Mike Foale, and Janice Voss, together with veteran Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Titov, launched aboard Shuttle Discovery on one of the most ambitious missions in the […]

'Not By a Single Centimeter': 20 Years Since STS-63 (Part 1)

Valeri Polyakov, pictured at Mir’s windows during the STS-63 shuttle rendezvous mission in February 1995, is the incumbent record-holder for the longest single spaceflight. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, next week, in February 1995, the crew of Shuttle Discovery roared into the night on a mission which featured the first […]

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 […]