AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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'A Unique Opportunity': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 1)

Glorious view of the Home Planet from STS-58, with the SLS-2 Spacelab module clearly visible in Columbia’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

“John, we’re going to fly you one of these days,” Launch Director Bob Sieck called over the communications loop on 15 October 1993. The disappointment of another scrubbed launch attempt was evident [...]

Mission to Jupiter: 25 Years Since the Launch of Galileo (Part 2)

Atlantis roars into orbit on 18 October 1989 to deploy the Galileo spacecraft on its mission to Jupiter. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, next week, shuttle mission STS-34 and the crew of Atlantis rocketed into orbit to launch NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on a lengthy odyssey to Jupiter. As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history [...]

Mission to Jupiter: 25 Years Since the Launch of Galileo (Part 1)

Emblazoned with the script-like “Galileo” lettering and the block “NASA” letters, the spacecraft represented a marriage of romance and adventure with science and technology for STS-34’s Shannon Lucid. Photo Credit: NASA

When the Galileo spacecraft drifted out of Shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay on the evening of 18 October 1989—25 years ago, next week—on the [...]

KSC's Remaining Shuttle Processing Hangars Will Support Secretive Air Force X-37B Program

The X-37B during post-landing operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base after landing in 2010. Personnel in SCAPE suits (Self-contained atmospheric protective ensemble) are seen here conducting initial checks on the vehicle and ensuring the area is safe. Photo Credit: USAF

On Dec. 11, 2012, ULA launched the third mission to deliver a secretive and [...]

'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 [...]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 2)

The SPARTAN-201 science satellite, pictured during its period of free flight on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle’s capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and science—to [...]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 1)

Mike Gernhardt, pictured during his EVA on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and science—to the test. During STS-69 in [...]

'To Make Sure We Didn't Make the News': The High-Altitude Mission of STS-48 (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on 12 September 1991 to begin a five-day mission to deploy the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). Photo Credit: NASA

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing—though not unexpected—fire show. NASA’s 13,000-pound (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), launched two decades earlier, [...]

'Gentlemen's Hours': The High-Altitude Mission of STS-48 (Part 1)

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is readied for deployment by Discovery’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, early in the STS-48 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing, though not unexpected, fire show. NASA’s 13,000-pound (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), [...]

EVAs and More With ’Sixty-Four: 20 Years Since STS-64 (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on the multi-faceted mission of STS-64, 20 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

One hundred and twenty-three times before 16 September 1994, astronauts and cosmonauts had clambered outside their space ships and maneuvered themselves around in the harsh and unforgiving vacuum of space. They had used handholds, they had [...]