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AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CRS-5 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
6 Jan 15 11:18:00 GMT
6 Jan 15 6:18:00 EST

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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 […]

'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 […]

'Back to the Skies': 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 1)

STS-66 signed crew portrait, sent to the author by Commander Don McMonagle (seated at right). He was joined on the crew by (from left) Jean-Francois Clervoy, Scott Parazynski, Curt Brown, Joe Tanner and Ellen Ochoa. Photo Credit: NASA/Ben Evans personal collection

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest with […]

'The Choreography Was Incredible': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit at 10:53 a.m. EST on 18 October 1993, 21 years ago yesterday. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-one years ago, yesterday, on 18 October 1993, the longest flight ever attempted in shuttle history—the 14-day STS-58 mission, carrying the second Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-2) research payload—was launched into orbit. Aboard Columbia were astronauts […]

'A Unique Opportunity': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 1)

Glorious view of the Home Planet from STS-58, with the SLS-2 Spacelab module clearly visible in Columbia’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

“John, we’re going to fly you one of these days,” Launch Director Bob Sieck called over the communications loop on 15 October 1993. The disappointment of another scrubbed launch attempt was evident […]

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 […]