AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CRS-4 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
20 Sep 14 6:14:37 GMT
20 Sep 14 2:14:37 EST

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After 10 Month Journey, NASA's MAVEN Set for Crucial Mars Orbit Insertion Burn on Sept. 21 on Astrobiology mission

This artist concept depicts the process of orbital insertion of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. Credit: NASA/GSFC

After a trouble free and fantastic 10-month interplanetary voyage of 442 million miles to the Red Planet, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is just two days out from its crucial braking [...]

Curiosity ‘Lacks Science Focus’ as Cassini Gets ‘Excellent Rating’ Says Planetary Science Review Board

Panel urges more drilling less driving for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover Curiosity accomplished historic first drilling into Martian rock at John Klein outcrop on Feb. 8, 2013, (Sol 182) and discovered a habitable zone, shown in this context mosaic view of the Yellowknife Bay basin taken on Jan. 26 (Sol 169). The robotic arm [...]

Curiosity Rover Moving Onward to Martian Mountain Goal, Shuns Drilling and Slippery Dunes

NASA’s Curiosity rover abandons drill campaign at “Bonanza King” rock outcrop after hammer test (inset at right) determined it was unsuitable as a potential fourth drill site, in this photo mosaic view captured on Aug. 20, 2014, Sol 724. Note the background of sand dune ripples and deep wheel tracks inside Hidden Valley that [...]

Taking Aim With ExoLance: A New Way to Search for Life on Mars

“Got Life?”—the ExoLance logo. Image Credit: Explore Mars

Is or was there life on Mars? That is one of the biggest and most hotly debated questions in planetary science. The manner in which the evidence has been searched for is also a topic of much discussion. The Viking landers in the 1970s were the [...]

MAVEN's Half-Billion-Mile Journey to Mars Now 30 Days Out From Red Planet

An artist’s rendition of MAVEN at Mars. Image Credit: NASA / GSFC

The spacecraft tasked with carrying out NASA’s first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere is now just 30 days out from the Red Planet, having so far covered 405 million miles over the last nine months, as it quietly cruises the [...]

Curiosity Rover Celebrates Second Anniversary on Mars as It Approaches Mountain Goal

A “self-portrait” of the Curiosity rover in Yellowknife Bay, with part of Mount Sharp in the background. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Curiosity rover has been actively exploring Mars for two years now, and as it celebrated its second anniversary today, Aug. 5, it is also, after a lengthy journey, approaching its primary mission goal: the [...]

Mars 2020 Rover Instrument Suite Chosen by NASA to Search for Past Life and Prepare for Human Explorers

NASA manager Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, outlines science instrument suite selected for NASA’s next generation 2020 Mars rover at media briefing held at NASA Headquarters on July 31, 2014. Credit: NASA

The advanced science payload package that will launch on NASA’s next car-sized rover to the Red Planet in [...]

'Miles and Miles and Miles': Opportunity Sets New Off-World Distance Milestone

Simulated image of Opportunity at work in Endurance crater. The “little Mars rover that could” recently surpassed a 41-year-old “off-world” distance record. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad famously quipped as he stepped upon the Moon’s surface, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small [step] for Neil [Armstrong], but that’s a long [...]

NASA Realigns Red Planet Armada to Reap Science Bonanza During Upcoming Comet Flyby and Protect Priceless Probes

This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the Sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, 2014, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earth’s invasion fleet at Mars is about to [...]

NASA Solicits Commercial Mars Telecom Relay Proposals to Avoid Science Transmission Gap

Artist rendering of commercial Mars satellites providing communications back to Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL

Facing the undeniable reality of a looming communications gap in the 2020s in getting gigabits of precious data back from NASA’s highly productive science armada exploring Mars, the agency is now soliciting information on the potential for utilizing commercial Mars-orbiting telecommunications [...]