AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch SMAP on a Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA
scheduled for:
31 Jan 15 14:20:42 GMT
31 Jan 15 6:20:42 PST
31 Jan 15 9:20:42 Eastern

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'Man of Destiny': Astronaut Tom Jones Turns 60 Today

Tom Jones waves during his first career EVAs on STS-98, the mission which installed the U.S. Destiny laboratory onto the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tom Jones—a man who did, then didn’t, and then did again, embark on the hundredth spacewalk in U.S. history—turns 60 today (Thursday, 22 […]

How Adaptable Humans Are: Looking Back at STS-72 (Part 2)

 

Grappled by Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, the Japanese Space Flyer Unit (SFU) satellite is readied for installation in the payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Nineteen years ago, today, on 11 January 1996, Shuttle Endeavour and a six-man crew—Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Brent Jett, and Mission Specialists Leroy […]

Mission for Japan: Looking Back at STS-72 (Part 1)

Leroy Chiao (foreground) works in Endeavour’s payload bay during one of the STS-72 EVAs. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost two decades ago, six astronauts rocketed into the night on a mission which put virtually all of the shuttle’s capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, research, and spacewalking—to the test, as well as providing […]

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 […]

Kevin Chilton, Most Senior Ranking Military Astronaut, Turns 60 Today

Kevin Chilton (right) greets cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko during the third shuttle-Mir docking mission in March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA

On the evening of 11 May 1992, Kevin Chilton and Rick Hieb stayed up late on the flight deck of Shuttle Endeavour, brainstorming a thorny problem which threatened to ruin their mission. Four days earlier, […]

'Dramatic, Down-the-Throat View': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 2)

The vast plume of Klyuchevskaya Sopka, in Kamchatka, which erupted shortly after STS-68 reached orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 30 September 1994, the crew of Shuttle Endeavour rocketed into orbit—six weeks later than originally planned—on an 11-day mission to support the second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace […]

'Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 1)

For the second time in less than six months, the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) rode Endeavour into orbit in September-October 1994. However, the launch of STS-68 was delayed extensively, following the shuttle program’s last Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort. Photo Credit: NASA

One day in the summer of 1993, astronaut Tom Jones was […]

'Mr. Galileo Was Correct': The Grand Voyage of Apollo 15 (Part 2)

Haunting view of Jim Irwin with the lunar rover, backdropped by the grandeur of Mount Hadley. Photo Credit: NASA

As July burned into August 1971, three sons of Planet Earth were midway through their exploration of the Moon. Aboard the command and service module Endeavour, astronaut Al Worden operated a sophisticated array of scientific equipment from […]

'Man Must Explore': The Grand Voyage of Apollo 15 (Part 1)

The “unreal” clarity of the lunar landscape, caused by the near-total absence of atmospheric haze or particulates, was problematic for the Apollo 15 crew when judging distance at Hadley. Photo Credit: NASA

Four hundred miles (640 km) to the north of the Moon’s equator lies a place called Hadley: a small patch of Mare […]

Mission for Science and Technology: 18 Years Since STS-77 (Part 2)

Fully deployed, the Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) sprouts from the SPARTAN-207 satellite. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago this week, six men orbited Earth aboard Shuttle Endeavour on one of the most complex research flights ever conducted in the program’s 30-year history. With such a large number of payloads aboard, it was imperative for […]