AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch Luch-5V on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan scheduled for 28 Apr 14 4:25:00 GMT

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Gemini 3 and the Misfortune of Al Shepard (Part 1)

In addition to carrying the equipment of the prime crew, Gemini 3 backups Wally Schirra (third from the right) and Tom Stafford (second from right) saw to it that they fulfilled the mission’s humor requirements. As a result, Gemini 3 would forever come to be known as “The Corned Beef Sandwich Mission.” Photo Credit: [...]

Of Minds & Men: The First Rendezvous in Space (Part 2)

Beautiful view of Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford’s Gemini VI-A spacecraft, viewed by astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell aboard Gemini VII. Schirra’s gutsy decision to sit tight after the 12 December pad abort ensured that this historic rendezvous mission could go ahead. Photo Credit: NASA

“It’s death … or the ejection seat!” For [...]

Of Minds & Men: The First Rendezvous in Space (Part 1)

Gemini VII, bearing astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on a record-breaking 14-day mission, is seen through the windows of Gemini VI-A, with fellow spacefarers Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford. This mission, in December 1965, marked the first ‘true’ rendezvous between two piloted vehicles in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Two weeks before Christmas in [...]

'I Hope That Flight Works Out For You': 15 Years Since John Glenn's Return to Space

Fifteen years ago today, at age 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago today (29 October), John Glenn became the oldest human ever to venture beyond the thin veil of Earth and into space. He was [...]

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 [...]

'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 [...]

'Yabadabadoo!' 45 Years Since Apollo 7 Charted a Course for the Moon (Part 1)

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

On 30 May 1968, a brand-new spacecraft arrived at Cape Kennedy, Fla. Known formally as “Spacecraft [...]

A Man Who Inspired: The Life and Legend of Scott Carpenter (1925-2013)

Chrysler artist Cece Bibby chats with Scott Carpenter, after stencilling the name “Aurora 7″ onto his spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

Yesterday’s tragic passing of Scott Carpenter—one of America’s “Original Seven” Mercury astronauts and the nation’s second man to orbit Earth—following a recent stroke has deprived the world of yet another pioneer from the early [...]

From ‘Greasy Grissom’ to ‘Gruff Gus’: The Story of America’s Second Man in Space (Part 2)

The attempted rescue of the Liberty Bell 7 capsule from the waters of the Atlantic on 21 July 1961. After this image was taken, it would be 38 years—long after Gus Grissom’s death—before the spacecraft was recovered and again saw the light of day. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-two years ago this very day, a [...]

From ‘Greasy Grissom’ to ‘Gruff Gus’: The Story of America’s Second Man in Space (Part 1)

Gus Grissom (in suit, right) accompanies Al Shepard to his Freedom 7 capsule in May 1961. Two months later, Grissom would fly his own suborbital Mercury mission aboard Liberty Bell 7. Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Had Gus Grissom lived longer, wrote Deke Slayton in his autobiography, Deke, he would have been [...]