AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
21 Oct 14 2:29:00 GMT
20 Oct 14 22:29:00 EDT

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All Hail the (Deputy) Chief: Astronaut Eric Boe Turns 50 Today

Eric Boe, pictured in the pilot’s seat of shuttle Discovery during the STS-133 mission in February-March 2011. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s great to have the opportunity to participate in the space program,” astronaut Eric Boe told an interviewer on the eve of STS-133, the final flight of shuttle Discovery, in February 2011. “It hasn’t [...]

The Man Who Delivered Columbus: Astronaut Steve Frick Turns 50 Today

Steve Frick, who commanded STS-122, the shuttle mission which installed Europe’s Columbus laboratory module onto the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

Five hundred years after the 1506 death of navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus, in the summer of 2006, a multi-national team of astronauts were appointed to shuttle mission STS-122, which would [...]

'Dramatic, Down-the-Throat View': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 2)

The vast plume of Klyuchevskaya Sopka, in Kamchatka, which erupted shortly after STS-68 reached orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 30 September 1994, the crew of Shuttle Endeavour rocketed into orbit—six weeks later than originally planned—on an 11-day mission to support the second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace [...]

'Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 1)

For the second time in less than six months, the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) rode Endeavour into orbit in September-October 1994. However, the launch of STS-68 was delayed extensively, following the shuttle program’s last Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort. Photo Credit: NASA

One day in the summer of 1993, astronaut Tom Jones was [...]

Test Pilot, Veteran Spacewalker, and Female Aerospace Engineer Set for Thursday Launch to Space Station

The Soyuz TMA-14M crew (from left) Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova pose before the base of their launch vehicle at Baikonur. The trio will spend 168 days in space, forming the second half of Expedition 41 and the core of Expedition 42. Photo Credit: NASA

Two weeks after the 10 September [...]

Loren Shriver, Commander of Hubble Deployment Mission, Turns 70 Today

Loren Shriver gobbles a handful of M&Ms during STS-46, his third and final shuttle mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost a quarter-century ago, astronaut Loren Shriver—who turns 70 today (Tuesday, 23 September)—commanded a shuttle mission into the highest orbit ever attained by one of the reusable vehicles. On 24 April 1990, he led the crew [...]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 2)

The SPARTAN-201 science satellite, pictured during its period of free flight on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle’s capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and science—to [...]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 1)

Mike Gernhardt, pictured during his EVA on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and science—to the test. During STS-69 in [...]

'Believe In Your Dreams': Remembering Astronaut Lacy Veach On His 70th Birthday

Lacy Veach (right), pictured during pre-launch training for STS-52. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

“You’ve got to believe in your dreams,” astronaut Lacy Veach once told a crowd of Hawaiian youngsters, “and you’ve got to be hard-headed enough to never let go!” Had cancer not cruelly snatched him from us, today (18 September) would have [...]

'To Make Sure We Didn't Make the News': The High-Altitude Mission of STS-48 (Part 2)

Discovery rockets into orbit on 12 September 1991 to begin a five-day mission to deploy the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). Photo Credit: NASA

Late in September 2011, the skies above the Pacific Ocean were illuminated by an astonishing—though not unexpected—fire show. NASA’s 13,000-pound (5,900-kg) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), launched two decades earlier, [...]