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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MESSENGER Takes First Images of Ice Near Mercury's North Pole

Wide-Angle Camera (WAC) image of Kandinsky crater, near Mercury’s north pole, which contains water ice. The original broadband image is on the left (outlined in yellow), and the brightness and contrast-enhanced version is on the right. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The Solar System is full of surprises. [...]

Reviving a 'Dream Deferred': Remembering the Flight of Apollo 7

From NASA’s Human Spaceflight Gallery: “The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, stands on the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever after suiting up for water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra, Jr.” [...]

'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 [...]

'For One Priceless Moment': 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Changed the World (Part 4)

One of the relatively few images of Neil Armstrong at work on the lunar surface, close to Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

On Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, Texas, was filled with tension and expectant quiet. [...]

'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 [...]

'All Engines Running': 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Changed the World (Part 1)

Captured from a remote camera, this ghostly image records the instant of our species’ first steps into the Universe around us. Even humanity’s first footfalls on the Red Planet or any other world in the years to come, nothing can ever match the history-making audacity of what Neil Armstrong achieved one hot summer’s night [...]

Cassini at Saturn: 10 Years of Amazing Planetary Science and More to Come

Mosaic image showing Saturn backlit by the Sun, one of the most beautiful and surreal photographs sent back by Cassini. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini mission to Saturn has been one of the most successful and exciting in all of space exploration history. That amazing spacecraft is now celebrating its 10th anniversary today [...]

Do Pluto and Charon Share the Same Atmosphere?

Artist’s conception of Pluto and Charon. Image Credit: ESO

Atmospheres are, of course, a common feature of planets and even some moons. Most of the planets in our Solar System and a few moons have their own unique atmospheres, but now there may be evidence for something new: a shared atmosphere between a planet [...]

Date With an Alligator: The Trials of Gemini IX-A (Part 2)

Gene Cernan’s EVA was the longest to date, by far the most complex … and intrinsically hazardous. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost five decades ago, one of the hairiest and most difficult missions in America’s space history unfolded. Gemini IX-A was already complex—a three-day flight, involving rendezvous, docking, maneuvering, and spacewalking—but had endured additional challenges: [...]