AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 28 Jul 14 22:43:00 GMT

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'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: [...]

Popeye Forearms: The Challenge of Gemini IX-A (Part 1)

An exhausted Gene Cernan can barely manage a grimace for Tom Stafford’s camera after completing his spacewalk on Gemini IX-A. Had the hands of fate played out a little differently, this seat might instead have been occupied by Charlie Bassett. Photo Credit: NASA

In the late spring of 1966, the Gemini IX mission seemed [...]

'Weaving Up the Freeway': The Triumph of Apollo 10 (Part 4)

One hundred and sixty thousand kilometres from home, this electrifying view of Earth from Apollo 10 reveals many of the lands around the Mediterranean, from whence “Western” civilisation arose. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago this week, three astronauts circled the Moon. Their spacecraft had many of the provisions needed to execute a landing—a [...]

'We Have Arrived': The Marvels of Apollo 10 (Part 3)

Mission controllers anxiously watch the “transposition and docking” of lunar module Snoopy, four hours into the Apollo 10 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Four hours after a bone-jarring launch from Cape Kennedy and an equally rattling ride through Trans-Lunar Injection, the crew of Apollo 10 were finally on their way to the Moon on the [...]

'We Didn’t Know the Questions': The Trials of Apollo 10 (Part 2)

 

Snoopy and Charlie Brown were everywhere in days surrounding Apollo 10. Photo Credit: NASA

Snoopy, the little black-and-white dog from the “Peanuts” comic strip, was everywhere in the days and hours leading up to the launch of Apollo 10. Forty-five years ago this week, he had become the mascot for a mission which [...]