AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
27 Aug 14 4:50:00 GMT
27 Aug 14 0:50:00 EDT

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'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 [...]

'A Lot of Unknowns': 17 Years Since the Shuttle's Second Hubble Servicing Mission (Part 1)

Barely illuminated by sunlight, Joe Tanner is pictured during EVA-4 on STS-82. Photo Credit: NASA

Seventeen years ago this week, NASA launched its second shuttle Servicing Mission (SM-2) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The $1.5 billion observatory has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as one of the most successful space-based instruments ever launched. [...]

' ... T-9 Minutes and Counting ... ': NASA's First Secret Shuttle Flight

Since the conception of the manned spaceflight engineer programme, 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 Ellison [...]

Hubble Eyes Asteroid Resembling Rotating Lawn Sprinkler With Multiple Comet-Like Tails

A never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt, designated P/2013 P5. Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continue to discover surprises abound throughout the Solar System, some 23 years after it launched into orbit on NASA’s now retired [...]

'I Hope That Flight Works Out For You': 15 Years Since John Glenn's Return to Space

Fifteen years ago today, at age 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago today (29 October), John Glenn became the oldest human ever to venture beyond the thin veil of Earth and into space. He was [...]

'To Launch Americans Into Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 2)

 

After 32 months of agony and introspection, the Kennedy Space Center was again rocked by the roar of shuttle main engines and Solid Rocket Boosters on the morning of 29 September 1988. It was the dawn of a new era. Photo Credit: NASA

Setting aside the enormity of the fact that STS-26 would [...]

'Americans Return to Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 1)

Twenty-five years have now passed since STS-26, the mission which laid the ghosts of Challenger to rest and opened the gates for a second Golden Age of shuttle operations. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years have now passed since the voice of launch commentator Hugh Harris exulted “Americans return to space” on the morning of [...]