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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Gliese 832c: Astronomers Discover Another Nearby Potentially Habitable Exoplanet

Artist’s conception of Gliese 832c. Image Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo/NASA Hubble/Stellarium

As the number of exoplanets discovered continues to grow exponentially, the number of potentially habitable worlds out there continues to increase as well. Astronomers have now reported finding another one of the nearest known of these kinds of planets so far, Gliese [...]

Veteran Astronauts Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas Depart NASA

Between them, Dave Leestma and Andy Thomas launched aboard no less than seven shuttle missions. This view shows the early-morning ascent of STS-77 on 19 May 1996, which marked Thomas’ first flight. Photo Credit: NASA

With seven space missions, two EVAs, and almost 200 cumulative days in orbit between them, two of NASA’s best [...]

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 [...]

'Mega-Earth' Planet Discovered Orbiting Distant Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-10c (foreground) and Kepler-10b. Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

Astronomers on Monday made a “big” announcement about exoplanets, and it is big—literally. Another new world has been discovered, which is quite routine now these days, but this one is different, and unexpected: a planet which is more than twice as large [...]

'The Saddest Moment': The Story of America's First Spacewalk (Part 2)

Clasping the cold-gas maneuvering gun in his right hand, and trailed by a snake-like tether, Ed White tumbles over a cloud-speckled Earth during the United States’ first EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost half a century ago, in the first week of June 1965, the the United States took a huge step forward in its [...]

'Examinations of Some Kind': The Story of America's First Spacewalk (Part 1)

Ed White performs America’s first EVA outside Gemini IV in June 1965. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost half a century ago, in the first week of June 1965, the the United States took a huge step forward in its drive to land a man on the Moon. Aboard Gemini IV, astronauts Jim McDivitt and Ed [...]

'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 [...]