Dazzling Delta II Delivers SMAP to Orbit in Stunning Pre-Dawn Ascent

With the flare of its RS-27A first-stage engine and trio of Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs), the Delta II takes flight at 6:22 a.m. PST Saturday, 31 January. Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace

Continuing a proud heritage of near-perfect mission success, which stretches back across more than a quarter-century, the 153rd Delta II booster broke […]

NASA's SMAP Environmental Watcher Ready for Thursday Launch Atop Delta II

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft undergoes checkout in Astrotech’s payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: ULA

For the 153rd time in its quarter-century of operational service, the thunderous roar of a Delta II booster will rattle Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, 29 January, carrying […]

SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle: Another Step Forward in Solving Climate Puzzle

NASA JPL Earth Science Senior Research Scientist Dr. Simon Yueh has played an important role in several Earth Science missions, including the upcoming SMAP mission launching from Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 29. Photo Credit: Chris Howell / AmericaSpace

A meeting in two parts with NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Scientist/Aquarius Project Scientist (scatterometer) […]

Impressive 13 Missions On Tap for ULA in 2015

The MUOS-3 payload, encapsulated within its bulbous payload fairing, is readied for installation atop the Atlas V 551. This will be the first of 13 missions planned by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2015. Photo Credit: ULA

As it enters its ninth year of operations since its formation as a merger between Boeing […]

MESSENGER Gets Small Reprieve Prior to End of Mission in 2015

Artist’s impression of MESSENGER in orbit around Mercury. Following a highly successful decade-long mission, the spacecraft will eventually face its demise while crashing on Mercury’s surface, sometime next spring. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The coming of the New Year is a time for celebration and reflection […]

NASA's SMAP Mission Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Begins Final Preparations for Early 2015 Launch

Scheduled for launch in early 2015, NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP mission, will track Earth’s water into one of its last hiding places: the soil. SMAP soil moisture data will, among other things, aid in predictions of agricultural productivity, weather and climate. Image Credit: NASA

“Follow the water”: This theme has […]

Delta II Returns to Flight With Dazzling OCO-2 Launch

With the glow of its RS-27A first-stage engine and trio of Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) piercing the gloom and murk, the first Delta II in almost three years takes flight from a foggy Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher/AmericaSpace

More than five years since its predecessor was lost in […]

Delta II Primed for Return to Flight OCO-2 Mission on Tuesday

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 will form part of the “Afternoon” Constellation (or “A-Train”) of U.S.- and French-provided global monitoring satellites. Image Credit: NASA

For the first time in almost three years, the thunderous roar of a Delta II booster will rattle the mountainous landscape of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Tuesday, […]

Opportunity Rover Celebrates 10th Anniversary Since Arrival on Mars

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was given a 90-day life expectancy; she is currently in her 10th year of Martian exploration. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Less than a year after it broke the record for the farthest-driven NASA vehicle on an alien world, the Mars Exploration Rover-B—better known as “Opportunity”—tomorrow celebrates the […]

Curiosity Rover Confirms Methane Nearly Non-Existent on Mars

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has reported back findings that might impact the discovery of life on Mars. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

For years the planetary science community has speculated, with much optimism, that methane exists in the environment of Mars. Data from observations of the Red Planet made from Earth and from […]