AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch MMS on a Atlas V 421 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
13 Mar 15 2:44:00 GMT
12 Mar 15 22:44:00 EDT

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'You'd Be Booked Up': 30 Years Since the Maiden Voyage of Shuttle Discovery (Part 1)

Hank Hartsfield (bottom center), surrounded by his STS-41D crewmates on the maiden voyage of Discovery in August 1984. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, today (30 August 1984), the Shuttle Discovery—which would become, in time, the most-flown member of NASA’s fleet of orbiters—embarked on her maiden space voyage, launching from Pad 39A at the […]

Endearing and Enthusiastic: 30 Years Since NASA's Teacher in Space Project

Mission 51L Commander Dick Scobee talks to schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe about the instrumentation of the shuttle’s flight deck during pre-launch training. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, yesterday, on 27 August 1984, one of the most momentous—and, as circumstances would transpire, also tragic—events in space history unfolded, when President Ronald Reagan announced the Teacher […]

'Whatever Was Needed': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 2)

Columbia roars into the darkened Florida sky at 12:31 a.m. EDT on 23 July 1999. It would be one of the most hazardous launch phases in shuttle history. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the first woman ever to lead a space mission was launched aboard Shuttle Columbia to deliver NASA’s $1.5 […]

'Making Superman Jealous': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 1)

Eileen Collins, the first female spacecraft commander in history, floats in Columbia’s middeck, 15 years ago this week. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s great to be back in zero-g again,” said STS-93 commander Eileen Collins, early on 23 July 1999, as she and her four crewmates set about preparing the Shuttle Columbia for five days […]

'Tranquility Base Here': 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Changed the World (Part 3)

The Home Planet creeps slowly above the lunar horizon, as viewed from Apollo 11. Only a handful of men have seen this view in more than two million years of human history. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this weekend, on Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned […]

Soyuz TMA-14M Crew Discuss 'Regular and Normal' Mission to Space Station

Soyuz TMA-14M crew members Aleksandr Samokutyayev, Barry “Butch” Wilmore, and Yelena Serova are pictured during an emergency procedures training session at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. Photo Credit: NASA

With 10 weeks to go before they head into orbit for a six-month expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), the joint U.S.-Russian […]

'Freeze the Sim': The Unflown International Mission of STS-61H (Part 2)

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 61H, were stood down. Photo Credit: NASA

The beginning of the end of Mission 61H came on 28 January 1986, when Challenger and her […]

'Neat People': The Unflown International Mission of STS-61H (Part 1)

The view of the Home Planet from low-Earth orbit has been enjoyed by relatively few humans. Had the hands of fate turned more kindly, in June 1986 it might have been witnessed by a crew of U.S., British, and Indonesian astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA/Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

It has been almost a quarter of a century […]

Veteran Astronauts Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas Depart NASA

Between them, Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas launched aboard no less than seven shuttle missions. This view shows the early-morning ascent of STS-77 on 19 May 1996, which marked Thomas’ first flight. Photo Credit: NASA

With seven space missions, two EVAs, and almost 200 cumulative days in orbit between them, two of NASA’s best […]

'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 […]