AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch TMA-15M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
23 Nov 14 21:01:14 GMT
24 Nov 14 3:01:14 ALMT
23 Nov 14 16:01:14 Eastern

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Shuttle on the Night Shift: 25 Years Since STS-33

STS-33 was the first nocturnal shuttle launch and landing of the post-Challenger era; entirely appropriate, perhaps, in light of the shroud of darkness which covered its primary payload. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, in November 1989, the shuttle embarked on its first launch and landing in the hours of darkness since […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 4)

The Orion spacecraft and its Launch Abort System (LAS) for the Exploration pause briefly outside the historic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), during their journey to Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37B. Photo Credit: Talia Landman/AmericaSpace

After more than a decade of planning, preparation, frustration and cancellation, in just 11 days’ time the first human-capable vehicle for […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 3)

The “business end” of the three Common Booster Cores (CBCs) for the Delta IV Heavy are readied for America’s next step towards deep space. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

Twelve days now remain before the long-awaited launch of Orion—the first human-capable vehicle for Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) exploration in more than four decades—on its inaugural […]

All-Air Force Crew From Three Nations Ready for Launch to Space Station (Part 1)

The Expedition 42 crew, from left, consists of Yelena Serova, Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Soyuz TMA-15M new arrivals Anton Shkaplerov, Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti. Photo Credit: NASA

Two weeks after the 9 November return to Earth of Soyuz TMA-13M, a new three-member crew will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan […]

A New Dawn: The Troubled History and Future Promise of NASA's Orion Program (Part 1)

An artist’s rendering of December’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) test, which will take the Orion capsule 3,600 miles (5,800 km) into space. Image Credit: NASA

For any astronomer, Orion is a relatively straightforward constellation to find in the night sky. Honoring the hunter of ancient Greek myth, its “belt” of three stars—the supergiants Alnitak, […]

'Stop the Clock': 30 Years Since the Rescue of Westar and Palapa (Part 2)

Discovery thunders into orbit on 8 November 1984 to begin the first shuttle mission to deploy and retrieve two pairs of spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

By the summer of 1984, the space shuttle had enjoyed success and disappointment in equal measure. Astronauts had successfully tested a new jet-propelled backpack, the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU), […]

Halcyon Days: 30 Years Since the Rescue of Westar and Palapa (Part 1)

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a “For Sale” sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

Early in February 1984, astronaut Joe Allen was at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, watching his former crewmate Vance Brand […]

Kevin Chilton, Most Senior Ranking Military Astronaut, Turns 60 Today

Kevin Chilton (right) greets cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko during the third shuttle-Mir docking mission in March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA

On the evening of 11 May 1992, Kevin Chilton and Rick Hieb stayed up late on the flight deck of Shuttle Endeavour, brainstorming a thorny problem which threatened to ruin their mission. Four days earlier, […]

Jeff Hoffman, First 1,000-Hour Shuttle Flier, Turns 70 Today

During STS-75, Jeff Hoffman (left) and Franklin Chang-Diaz became the first and second humans to record 1,000 cumulative hours aboard the shuttle. Hoffman hit the record on 29 February 1996, with Chang-Diaz following on 8 March. In total, Hoffman accrued more than 1,211 hours (over 50 days) in space on five shuttle missions. Photo […]

The 'MAHRSI Football' and Shuttle-Mir: 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 2)

Beautiful view of the ATLAS-3 instruments aboard Atlantis’ payload bay during STS-66. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest with the return to flight of Shuttle Atlantis, following a lengthy period of refurbishment. Since her STS-46 mission in July 1992, she had undergone many modifications to […]