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 [...]

Rookie Spacewalkers Complete Multiple Tasks With Finesse on EVA-27

U.S. astronaut Reid Wiseman and his German crewmate Alexander Gerst added their names to the ongoing tally of veteran spacewalkers with today’s EVA-27. Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time in more than two decades, two first-time spacefarers embarked together on their first career spacewalks, wearing U.S.-built Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), when NASA astronaut [...]

Giant Cloud at Titan's South Pole Is Toxic and Freezing Cold

View from Cassini of the huge polar vortex cloud over Titan’s south pole. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/University of Arizona/SSI/Leiden Observatory and SRON

Titan is the only moon in the Solar System known to have a dense atmosphere, and while similar to Earth’s atmosphere in some ways, such as being rich in nitrogen, it also holds [...]

'What Did You Guys Do?' 30 Years Since Shuttle Mission 41G and America's First Female Spacewalk (Part 1)

On Mission 41G, which took place 30 years ago, this week, Kathy Sullivan became the first U.S. female spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, on 5 October 1984, history was made when Shuttle Challenger rocketed into orbit on Mission 41G, an ambitious science and technology flight. On-board was the largest crew [...]

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 [...]

It's Back! 'Mystery Island' in Titan Sea Makes Unexpected Reappearance

Three radar images, taken from April 2007 to August 2014, showing how the “mystery island” in Ligeia Mare has changed in appearance over time. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

The mystery of an unusual feature in one of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the “mystery island,” has taken an interesting turn. After apparently disappearing following its initial [...]

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 [...]