AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
27 Aug 14 4:50:00 GMT
27 Aug 14 0:50:00 EDT

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Hank Hartsfield, Shuttle Discovery's First Commander, Dies Aged 80

Hank Hartsfield (left), pictured with crewmate Ken Mattingly, shortly before the launch of STS-4 in June 1982. Photo Credit: NASA

Former NASA astronaut Hank Hartsfield, a veteran of three shuttle missions in the early 1980s—including command of the maiden voyage of the fleet leader, Discovery—passed away earlier today (Thursday, 17 July), reportedly due to [...]

84 Days in Space, 84 Years on Earth: The Life and Legacy of Bill Pogue

Bill Pogue (center), pictured with crewmates Gerry Carr (left) and Ed Gibson on 27 July 2013 at the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s 40th anniversary of Skylab. Photo Credit: Emily Carney

Last month, NASA marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the final Skylab mission, and less than four weeks later the agency is mourning the [...]

Space Station Astronauts Set for Up to Three Challenging EVAs Over Christmas

Expedition 38 astronauts Rick Mastracchio (bottom left) and Mike Hopkins (top right) work with their space suits inside the Quest airlock, as preparations for the Christmas EVAs gather momentum. Photo Credit: NASA

For Mike Hopkins it will be a Christmas gift like no other. It has been granted to a little over 200 individuals [...]

All the King's Horses: The Final Mission to Skylab (Part 4)

Spectacular view of Skylab, as seen from the departing crew of Gerry Carr, Ed Gibson, and Bill Pogue on 8 February 1974. This would be the last occasion that Skylab was ever seen, up close, by human eyes. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this week, in November 1973, NASA launched its third and [...]

All the King's Horses: The Final Mission to Skylab (Part 3)

The final Skylab crew was tasked with its first EVA only a week after arriving in space. It was only the start of an overloaded work schedule which Ed Gibson later described as “a 33-day fire drill.” Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this week, in November 1973, NASA launched its third and final [...]

All the King's Horses: The Final Mission to Skylab (Part 2)

Skylab and its Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) was a critical asset in observing Comet Kohoutek in the winter of 1973-74. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this week, in November 1973, NASA launched its third and final crew to the Skylab space station. As recounted in yesterday’s history article, Commander Gerry Carr, Science Pilot [...]

All the King's Horses: The Final Mission to Skylab (Part 1)

Boosted aloft atop a Saturn IB rocket, and utilizing a special “milk stool” to raise its umbilical connections to the proper levels on the Pad 39B gantry, the third and final Skylab crew takes flight on 16 November 1973. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago, on 14 May 1973, the United States launched its [...]

Wally, Walt, and Whatshisname: The Three Heroes Who Set Apollo's Course for the Moon

Commander Wally Schirra (center) and crewmates Donn Eisele (left) and Walt Cunningham restored America’s confidence in the Apollo spacecraft and enabled NASA to put its bold plan for a voyage to lunar orbit in motion. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago today, on 22 October 1968, the future began. With the successful return of [...]

T-100 Days to 'Sleeping Beauty' Rosetta's Wake-Up Call

Rosetta and its Philae landing craft will arrive at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Less than 100 days now remain before the craft are due to be revived from their 2.5-year deep-space hibernation. Image Credit: ESA

According to the Brothers Grimm, Sleeping Beauty was condemned to sleep for 100 years, but for the European Space [...]

'From the Lovely Apollo Room': 45 Years Since Apollo 7 Charted a Course for the Moon (Part 2)

Glorious view of the Florida peninsula from Apollo 7. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago this week, Project Apollo—the effort to set American boots on the surface of the Moon—rose from the ashes of despair and triumphantly flew an 11-day mission in low-Earth orbit. Apollo 7 astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walt Cunningham [...]