AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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Repair and Salvage: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 4)

During his historic untethered EVA with the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) on 7 February 1984, Bruce McCandless ventured as far as 300 feet (90 meters) from Challenger. Photo Credit: NASA

Ironically, the spacecraft from which the most Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) were performed—the space shuttle—was not originally intended to carry the capability for spacewalking at […]

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 […]

The Flight That Wasn't: 30 Years Since the Unflown Mission 51E (Part 1)

The “core” NASA crew of Mission 41F, scheduled for launch on 9 August 1984 for a seven-day flight. From left to right are Commander Karol “Bo” Bobko, Pilot Don Williams and Mission Specialists Dave Griggs, Rhea Seddon and Jeff Hoffman. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, the shuttle program […]

Jeff Hoffman, First 1,000-Hour Shuttle Flier, Turns 70 Today

During STS-75, Jeff Hoffman (left) and Franklin Chang-Diaz became the first and second humans to record 1,000 cumulative hours aboard the shuttle. Hoffman hit the record on 29 February 1996, with Chang-Diaz following on 8 March. In total, Hoffman accrued more than 1,211 hours (over 50 days) in space on five shuttle missions. Photo […]

'The Tether Is Broken': The Second Flight of the Tethered Satellite (Part 2)

The Tethered Satellite System (TSS) begins its deployment from the payload bay mast on STS-75. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago this week, Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit carrying one of the most unusual experiments on record: the reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1R). Originally conceived by the late Professor Guiseppe Colombo […]

'Rock Solid': The Second Flight of the Tethered Satellite (Part 1)

Columbia thunders into orbit on 22 February 1996, 18 years ago today. Her launch sent hearts leaping into throats within seconds of liftoff. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighteen years ago today (22 February), Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit carrying one of the most unusual experiments on record: the Tethered Satellite System (TSS). Originally conceived […]

'You and the Rest': Twenty Years Since NASA's Dramatic Hubble Repair Mission (Part 2)

Story Musgrave works at the end of Endeavour’s mechanical arm during activities to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, the singular space shuttle mission which marked the demarcation between past and future took place. Since the resumption of flights in September 1988, following the horrific loss of […]

'You and the Rest': Twenty Years Since NASA's Dramatic Hubble Repair Mission (Part 1)

Laden with tools and equipment, Jeff Hoffman waves from the end of the RMS arm during Hubble repair operations. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, the singular space shuttle mission which marked the demarcation between past and future took place. Since the resumption of flights in September 1988, following the horrific loss […]

In the Shadow of Challenger: The Found Mission of STS-35 (Part 2)

Pictured in September 1990, the problem-plagued STS-35/Columbia stack is shown in the foreground, on Pad 39A, with the STS-41/Discovery stack in the background on Pad 39B. Discovery would be the only orbiter to escape the disconnect crisis in the summer of 1990, but would succumb to her own problems the following year. Photo Credit: NASA

[…]

In the Shadow of Challenger: The Lost Mission of STS-61E (Part 1)

Had Challenger not been lost, these seven men were the next scheduled shuttle crew. Seated from left to right are Pilot Dick Richards, Commander Jon McBride, and Mission Specialist Dave Leestma, the “orbiter” crew in charge of shuttle systems. Standing from left to right are the “science” crew: Payload Specialist Sam Durrance, Mission Specialists […]