AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch TMA-15M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
23 Nov 14 21:01:00 GMT
24 Nov 14 3:01:00 ALMT
23 Nov 14 16:01:00 Eastern

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'Silent, Except for the Wind': 30 Years Since the Maiden Countdown of Discovery (Part 1)

Thirty years ago, this week, Discovery prepared for her maiden voyage and the third shuttle flight of 1984. On 26 June, it brought NASA face to face with the harsh nature of launching humans into space. Photo Credit: NASA

“T-31 seconds … We have a Go for autosequence start … Discovery’s computers now taking […]

'The Sultans of Space': The Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 1)

By the end of his seven days in space, Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had given up looking for his own country, or even his own continent, and came to realize that all humans belonged to just “One World.” It is a message which continues to resonate today. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost three decades ago, on […]

'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 […]

To the Brink, From the Brink: Happy 24th Birthday, Hubble (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into the highest orbit ever attained by a shuttle on 24 April 1990. Photo Credit: NASA

More than two decades ago, this very week, one of the most important missions in the annals of scientific discovery got underway with the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This enormous, $1.5 billion observatory, with […]

'Repairing Hubble' Showcases Space Telescope's Components on Anniversary

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope was photographed by Space Shuttle Discovery’s IMAX Cargo Bay Camera being deployed on April 25, 1990. Photo Credit: NASA

On Wednesday, April 23, Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum observed the 24th anniversary of NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s launch into orbit by unveiling “Repairing Hubble.” This new […]

The Eighth Wonder: Happy 24th Birthday, Hubble (Part 1)

Since its inaugural deployment from the shuttle in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has peered deeper into the cosmos than ever before in human history. Photo Credit: NASA

“If there were ever two missions that were completely opposite in terms of the public attention that was given to them,” astronaut Loren Shriver once […]

'I Wouldn’t Call it Fear': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 2)

The closest the shuttle ever came to a launch at the time of abort was T-1.9 seconds, on 18 August 1994. So close was the shuttle to launch, the on-board General Purpose Computers had already moded to their 102 ascent software configuration at the time of the abort. Photo Credit: NASA

In the pre-dawn […]

'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 […]

Dale Gardner, MMU Spacewalker, Dies Aged 65

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. The triumphant Mission 51A would cement the shuttle’s credentials as infallible … but it was an infallibility which would usher in a mistaken sense of […]

'Ready for a Margarita': 17 Years Since the Shuttle’s Second Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 2)

At the very “top” of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts Greg Harbaugh (left) and Joe Tanner work on the magnetometer cover task. Mark Lee compared Tanner’s ascent to riding his Harley. Photo Credit: NASA

Seventeen years ago this week, NASA launched its second shuttle Servicing Mission (SM-2) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The […]