AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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Roberto Vittori, Last European Shuttle Flier, Turns 50 Today

Roberto Vittori (right), who turns 50 today, is pictured with fellow Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli in Europe’s Columbus laboratory, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in May 2011. Photo Credit: NASA

Only six Italian citizens in human history have ventured beyond the thin veil of Earth’s atmosphere and into space, and today (Wednesday, 15 [...]

All-Navy Spacewalk Team Set for Ambitious EVA-28 on Wednesday

Barry “Butch” Wilmore (left) and Reid Wiseman will perform EVA-28 tomorrow, the first U.S. spacewalk since November 2008 to feature an all-Navy crew. Photo Credit: NASA

Just eight days after EVA-27, U.S. spacewalkers will again depart the Quest airlock tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 October) to install a replacement Sequential Shunt Unit (SSU) onto the starboard [...]

Astronomers Create Most Detailed Weather Map Yet of an Exoplanet

Graphic depicting how WASP-43b orbits its star, always keeping the same hemisphere facing the star, much like how the Moon always keeps the same hemisphere facing the Earth. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

Being able to find exoplanets orbiting distant stars is a major accomplishment in itself, and fine-tuning the data [...]

Mission to Jupiter: 25 Years Since the Launch of Galileo (Part 2)

Atlantis roars into orbit on 18 October 1989 to deploy the Galileo spacecraft on its mission to Jupiter. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, next week, shuttle mission STS-34 and the crew of Atlantis rocketed into orbit to launch NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on a lengthy odyssey to Jupiter. As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history [...]

NASA's NuSTAR Telescope Discovers 'Impossible' Ultra-Luminous Pulsar

NASA’s NuSTAR telescope recently discovered an ultra-luminous X-ray source (shown in the pink area in the circle) inside the nearby galaxy M82. This newly-discovered X-ray source was found to be powered by an extremely luminous pulsar, which produces the energy equivalent of 10 million Suns. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our ever-more-detailed study of the Universe [...]

NASA Gears Up Science Fleet for Once-In-A-Lifetime Flyby of Oort Cloud Comet With Mars

Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) hurtling towards encounter at Mars on Oct. 19, 2014 in this artist’s concept. Credit: NASA See cool encounter animation below

One week from today, NASA’s Red Planet armada is primed and ready with front row seats for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study an Oort cloud comet, as it makes [...]

Mission to Jupiter: 25 Years Since the Launch of Galileo (Part 1)

Emblazoned with the script-like “Galileo” lettering and the block “NASA” letters, the spacecraft represented a marriage of romance and adventure with science and technology for STS-34’s Shannon Lucid. Photo Credit: NASA

When the Galileo spacecraft drifted out of Shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay on the evening of 18 October 1989—25 years ago, next week—on the [...]

Opportunity Mars Rover Presses On Toward Rich Science Targets Despite Episodic Amnesia

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover peers out toward Ulysses crater, ejecta rocks, and Martian plains beyond from her Endeavour crater rim location on Sept. 18, 2014. Notice dramatic wheel tracks (right) as rover ascends steep crater slopes. This navcam camera photo mosaic was assembled from images taken on Sol 3787, Sept. 18, 2014 and colorized. [...]

NASA Proceeding With Boeing and SpaceX CCtCap Contracts Despite Sierra Nevada's GAO Protest

Image Credit: NASA / Boeing / Sierra Nevada / AmericaSpace

It was just last week that NASA issued a “stop work” order, pursuant to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) protest filed by Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) on Sept. 26, instructing both Boeing and SpaceX to stop performance of their newly awarded Commercial Crew Transportation Capability [...]

KSC's Remaining Shuttle Processing Hangars Will Support Secretive Air Force X-37B Program

The X-37B during post-landing operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base after landing in 2010. Personnel in SCAPE suits (Self-contained atmospheric protective ensemble) are seen here conducting initial checks on the vehicle and ensuring the area is safe. Photo Credit: USAF

On Dec. 11, 2012, ULA launched the third mission to deliver a secretive and [...]