AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch GPS IIF-7 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Aug 14 3:23:00 GMT
1 Aug 14 23:23:00 EDT

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Mission to Unveil Earth's Twisted Sister: 25 Years Since STS-30 (Part 1)

Mounted atop Boeing’s Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), Magellan departs Atlantis’ payload bay on 4 May 1989. Had Challenger not been lost, Magellan might have flown a year earlier, in April 1988, aboard Mission 81I, with a quite different booster: the Centaur-G Prime. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago this week, in May 1989, Shuttle [...]

'To Launch Americans Into Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 2)

 

After 32 months of agony and introspection, the Kennedy Space Center was again rocked by the roar of shuttle main engines and Solid Rocket Boosters on the morning of 29 September 1988. It was the dawn of a new era. Photo Credit: NASA

Setting aside the enormity of the fact that STS-26 would [...]

'Americans Return to Space': The Voyage of STS-26 (Part 1)

Twenty-five years have now passed since STS-26, the mission which laid the ghosts of Challenger to rest and opened the gates for a second Golden Age of shuttle operations. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years have now passed since the voice of launch commentator Hugh Harris exulted “Americans return to space” on the morning of [...]

'If Something Happens': Mission 51I and the End of an Era

The sheer size of the 15,000-pound Leasat-3 satellite is illustrated in this view of James “Ox” van Hoften manhandling it into space on Mission 51I. Photo Credit: NASA

For Dick Covey, the pilot of Mission 51I, the instant that Space Shuttle Discovery broke the shackles of Earth on the cusp of daybreak on 27 [...]

'Crankin’ APUs': Mission 51I and NASA’s ‘Can-Do’ Spirit

In a triumphant ending to a triumphant space salvage, James “Ox” van Hoften strikes a Charles Atlas pose on the end of the shuttle’s RMS mechanical arm, seemingly hoisting the world on his shoulders. Photo Credit: NASA

When Space Shuttle Discovery touched down in Florida on 19 April 1985—suffering seized brakes and enduring a [...]

In the Shadow of Challenger: The Found Mission of STS-35 (Part 2)

Pictured in September 1990, the problem-plagued STS-35/Columbia stack is shown in the foreground, on Pad 39A, with the STS-41/Discovery stack in the background on Pad 39B. Discovery would be the only orbiter to escape the disconnect crisis in the summer of 1990, but would succumb to her own problems the following year. Photo Credit: NASA

[...]

In the Shadow of Challenger: The Lost Mission of STS-61E (Part 1)

Had Challenger not been lost, these seven men were the next scheduled shuttle crew. Seated from left to right are Pilot Dick Richards, Commander Jon McBride, and Mission Specialist Dave Leestma, the “orbiter” crew in charge of shuttle systems. Standing from left to right are the “science” crew: Payload Specialist Sam Durrance, Mission Specialists [...]