AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CLIO on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
16 Sep 14 21:44:00 GMT
16 Sep 14 17:44:00 EDT

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KSC's Iconic Vehicle Assembly Building Undergoing Renovations for Orion/SLS

From NASA: “A view looking down from one of the higher levels in the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, reveals High Bay 3 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Modifications are underway in the VAB to prepare High Bay 3 for a new platform system.” Photo Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

For anyone who has [...]

'The Worst Tasting Coffee': 25 Years Since the Secret Mission of STS-28 (Part 2)

Columbia rockets into orbit on the first (and only) wholly classified mission of her career. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, the Shuttle Columbia returned to flight, following a three-year down time in the aftermath of the Challenger disaster. Aboard STS-28 for a five-day flight were Commander Brewster Shaw, Pilot Dick Richards, [...]

'Constrained Arrangement': 25 Years Since the Secret Mission of STS-28 (Part 1)

Pictured during her rollout to Pad 39B, Columbia was embarking on her first flight since the Challenger disaster. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Astronaut Dick Richards was five weeks from his first launch into space when the Challenger disaster cruelly snatched the opportunity from him. In January 1985, Richards had been named as Jon McBride’s [...]

'Whatever Was Needed': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 2)

Columbia roars into the darkened Florida sky at 12:31 a.m. EDT on 23 July 1999. It would be one of the most hazardous launch phases in shuttle history. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the first woman ever to lead a space mission was launched aboard Shuttle Columbia to deliver NASA’s $1.5 [...]

'Making Superman Jealous': 15 Years Since the First Female Shuttle Commander (Part 1)

Eileen Collins, the first female spacecraft commander in history, floats in Columbia’s middeck, 15 years ago this week. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s great to be back in zero-g again,” said STS-93 commander Eileen Collins, early on 23 July 1999, as she and her four crewmates set about preparing the Shuttle Columbia for five days [...]

'A Woman in the Driver's Seat': Remembering STS-93, First Flight Helmed by a Female Shuttle Commander

The STS-93 crew poses with a model of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This shuttle mission also entered into the history books for having the first female commander (Eileen Collins, here joined by Steven Hawley, Jerry Ashby, Michel Tognini, and Cady Coleman). Photo Credit: NASA

The 2009 book Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to [...]

ESA's IXV Spaceplane Readied for November Flight, While US Spaceplanes Pass Milestones

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “[The IXV] will be launched by ESA in 2014 on Vega, Europe’s new small launcher, into a suborbital path, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. After being launched into space, IXV will return to Earth as if from a low-orbit mission, testing brand-new European atmospheric reentry technologies during [...]

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 [...]

'What's Tab November?': The Independence Day Mission of STS-4 (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit on 27 June 1982, kicking off the STS-4 mission. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

More than three decades ago, on Independence Day (4 July) in 1982, Columbia triumphantly touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., concluding the fourth shuttle mission. Aboard the reusable spacecraft were Commander Ken Mattingly and Pilot [...]

'A Hundred Flights ... ': The Independence Day Mission of STS-4 (Part 1)

Columbia touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 4 July 1982, concluding the shuttle’s fourth and final Orbital Flight Test. Photo Credit: NASA

More than three decades ago, on Independence Day (4 July) in 1982, Columbia triumphantly touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., concluding the fourth shuttle mission. Aboard the [...]