AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch EgyptSat-2 on a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan scheduled for 16 Apr 14 16:20:00 GMT

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Juicing It: 43 Years Since Triumphant Mission of Apollo 14 (Part 1)

 

Bathed by the intense lunar sunlight, Antares sits on the undulating plain of Fra Mauro in February 1971. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-three years ago this week, the sixth team of Apollo lunar explorers—and only the third to accomplish a landing on the Moon’s dusty surface—headed back to Earth after a mission which restored [...]

Opportunity Rover Celebrates 10th Anniversary Since Arrival on Mars

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was given a 90-day life expectancy; she is currently in her 10th year of Martian exploration. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Less than a year after it broke the record for the farthest-driven NASA vehicle on an alien world, the Mars Exploration Rover-B—better known as “Opportunity”—tomorrow celebrates the 10th anniversary of [...]

'Is My Hair Gray?': The Story of Soyuz 4 and 5 (Part 2)

Possible scenario for how the ill-fated re-entry of Boris Volynov may have occurred. Soyuz 5 began its fall from orbit with the descent module’s hatch facing into the direction of travel, thus exposing the least-protected part of the spacecraft to the most extreme thermal stresses. Image Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

To Yevgeni Khrunov the first [...]

'For the Tenth Time': The Story of Soyuz 4 and 5 (Part 1)

Artist’s concept of the EVA transfer of cosmonauts Yevgeni Khrunov and Alexei Yeliseyev from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4 in January 1969. Image Credit: Orbiter-Forum

At first glance the flight of Soyuz 4 seemed certain to suffer misfortune. Its lone pilot, Vladimir Shatalov, arrived at the Baikonur launch pad in the desolate steppe of [...]

'There Is a Santa Claus': The Voyage of Apollo 8 (Part 2)

Hanging in the black sky, five degrees above the lunar horizon and with the terminator crossing Africa, this astonishing view of the Home Planet represented the first occasion on which human eyes glimpsed “Earthrise” from the Moon. It is a timeless image which continues to draw inspiration and wonder. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, [...]

'Launch Commit': The Voyage of Apollo 8 (Part 1)

Watched by a global audience of millions, and seemingly also by a crescent Moon, the first Saturn V ever trusted with human passengers takes flight on the morning of 21 December 1968. Photo Credit: NASA

Since July 1969, astronaut Mike Collins has achieved fame as “the other one” on the first lunar landing crew. [...]

Of Minds & Men: The First Rendezvous in Space (Part 2)

Beautiful view of Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford’s Gemini VI-A spacecraft, viewed by astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell aboard Gemini VII. Schirra’s gutsy decision to sit tight after the 12 December pad abort ensured that this historic rendezvous mission could go ahead. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s death … or the ejection seat!” For [...]

China's Jade Rabbit Hops Across Lunar Surface Following Country's First Moon Landing

Yutu, aka Jade Rabbit, departs China’s Chang’e 3 lander for its first steps on the surface of the Moon. Image Credit: CNSA / CCTV

Today, exactly 41 years after the last human footprint was made on the Moon by Gene Cernan, China became the third nation to touch the lunar surface, joining an exclusive [...]

Of Minds & Men: The First Rendezvous in Space (Part 1)

Gemini VII, bearing astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on a record-breaking 14-day mission, is seen through the windows of Gemini VI-A, with fellow spacefarers Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford. This mission, in December 1965, marked the first ‘true’ rendezvous between two piloted vehicles in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Two weeks before Christmas in [...]

China Launches Chang’e 3 on Country's First Mission to Land on the Moon

Liftoff of China’s Chang’e 3 and their “Jade Rabbit” Yutu rover to the surface of the Moon from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China. Image Credit: CCTV

Today, under cover of darkness, China successfully launched their first robotic lunar rover atop a powerful Long March-3B rocket from the country’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center [...]