SpaceLaunch News Archive



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 POPE BENEDICT ADDRESSES SPACE STATION CREWS: His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, placed a special call to the crews aboard the earth orbiting International Space Station today, a first in Papal history.

Speaking from the Foconi Room of the Vatican Library in Italy, Pope Benedict began speaking to the combined crew of twelve of the station and the docked shuttle Endeavour at 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT).  (Read Story)




 RUSSIAN PROTON M LAUNCHES SATELLITE FOR AMERICAS: A Russian rocket carried a new communications satellite into earth orbit on Friday.

 The workhorse of Russia's commercial launch fleet, the Proton M lifted on it's first flight of the year.

 An International Launch Services Proton M lifted-off on time at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT) on May 20th, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in western Kazakhstan.
   (Read Story)




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 ENDEAVOUR DOCKS WITH SPACE STATION ONE LAST TIME: Shuttle Endeavour arrived at her port-of-call this morning to begin twelve days filled with spacewalks and the delivery of supplies including a particle physics detector which will study the dark matter in space.

Endeavour's commander Mark Kelly guided the orbiter to her final docking to the International Space Station today at 6:14 a.m. EDT, as the orbital pair flew 220 miles high over the southeastern Pacific Ocean during an orbital sunrise.   (Read Story)




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 SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR LIFTS-OFF TO BEGIN HER FINAL MISSION: The space shuttle Endeavour lifted-off on May 16 from America's Space Coast riding above a 700-foot golden flame toward earth orbit to begin her twenty-fifth and final mission.

 A trouble-free countdown and nearly perfect weather helped keep NASA's penultimate launch of the space shuttle program on track.

 Endeavour's all veteran crew of commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory H. Johnson and mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and Roberto Vittori of the European Space Agency, will spend twelve days docked to the space station.
 (Read Story)




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 SUMMER CAMP TAKES-OFF WITH AVIATION CHALLENGE:  Integrity. Strength. Parent and child bonding. Excitement.

 Not just words on paper, but personal life experiences for those who pass through the gates of Aviation Challenge at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

 Aviation Challenge is a program designed as a Top Gun-styled camp course teaching kids of all ages the fundamentals of outdoor survival and fighter pilot training.

 As summer approaches across America, children and adults alike...   
(Read Story)




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 EUROPE'S ARIANE 5 LAUNCH PAIR OF SATELLITES: Europe's heavy lift work horse delivered two communications satellites into earth orbit on April 22 as the Sun set over the South American launch site.

The two satellites -- Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn -- will be placed into a geostationary orbit over the next few days to begin a fifteen year life to provide direct communications to the public and government's over several continents. Lift-off of an Ariane 5 rocket with it's dual-stack of satellites occurred ...  (Read Story)




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 VANDENBERG ROCKET LOFTS MILITARY PAYLOAD: An unmanned rocket successfully launched on a classified military payload delivery flight on Thursday evening from the California coastline.

 It was the twenty-fifth flight of an Atlas V rocket since the rocket series began in 2002.

 In an unusual styled launch, the Air Force used a single solid rocket booster to aide the core engine's thrust at lift-off.

 Lt. Col. Jenns Robertson with the 4th Space Launch Squadron operations ...
 (Read Story)




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 NASA ANOUNCES RETIREMENT LOCATIONS FOR SHUTTLES: NASA announced Tuesday the locations in which the three surviving space shuttle orbiters will be housed following their retirement this year.

In a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center to mark the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch, NASA administrator Charlie F. Bolden laid out where the three space rated orbiters and one air flown orbiter will be placed on display for the public to view.  (Read Story)




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 SOYUZ SPACECRAFT DOCKS WITH NEW CREW TO SPACE STATION: Three new crew members arrived at the International Space Station on April 7 aboard their spacecraft Yuri Gagarin to begin a five month stay and join three current residents in earth orbit.

The Soyuz TMA21 spacecraft, code name Gagarin, arrived at the orbiting lab 49 hours following it's launch from western Kazakhstan with two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut.

Docking occurred to the Russian Poisk module several...  (Docking Story)    (Launch Story)





 NASA ENGINEER SAVES AMERICA'S MOON PROGRAM: If there was one person who pushed NASA to ensure America could reach the moon before 1970, and save both billions of dollars and two years of time involved, it was one engineer.

One man at NASA pushed his plan to have two space craft head to lunar orbit, land one and have the two redock later and return to earth in a simplified, cost saving method.   (Read Story)




 RUSSIAN SPACECRAFT LAUNCHES NEW CREW TO SPACE STATION: A Soyuz rocket with two Russians and one American lifted-off April 5 for the International Space Station from the same launch pad which sent the first human into space fifty years ago this week.

The Soyuz TMA21 spacecraft, nicknamed Yuri Gagarin in honor of the first human to sail upon the ocean of space, lifted-off with cosmonauts Aleksander Samokutyaev, Andrei Borisenko and NASA astronaut Ronald Garan inside at 6:18:20 p.m. EDT(4:18 a.m. local time).  (Launch Story)





 NASA delays Endeavour's mission ten days: The coming and going of two Russian unmanned supply ships for the International Space Station has forced NASA to delay the final mission of space shuttle Endeavour by ten days.

On April 3, insiders from Roscosmos stated that Russia will not delay an incoming craft's arrival to the outpost, and that Endeavour would not be at the station during the craft's arrival.   (Read Story)




 SPRING BREAK AT U.S. SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER : Spring break in the Peach State is nine days of excitement spent on the beaches of Georgia's scenic coastline or attending golf's number one tournament in Augusta, the Masters.

 The same drive time from Atlanta will also allow for an overnight trip to neighboring Alabama's top attraction, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

 Nicknamed Rocket City, USA, Huntsville is home to the massive space center which lies about four hours west from the north Georgia region.
 (Read Story)





 RUSSIA LAUNCH TO MARK 50 YEARS OF HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT: Russia and the world will begin celebrations April 5 of the golden anniversary of humankind's first steps into space with the launch of two Russians and one American aboard a Soyuz bound for the International Space Station.

 It was April 12, 1961, in which Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin lifted-off from a then-secret launch site to become the first human ever to not only fly in space but to orbit the earth.
 (Read PreLaunch Story)




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 THUNDERSTORMS MOVE ENDEAVOUR'S CREW'S LAUNCH TRAINING: Severe storms hammering the Florida Space Coast on March 31 moved the traditional media event with the crew of the next space shuttle flight from the launch pad to an indoor auditorium.

"Thanks for coming out on this beauty Florida morning," Endeavour's commander Mark Kelly began jokingly from the press auditorium at 8:28 a.m. EDT. "It's good to be here... this is the time where our training meets the processing of our vehicle."  (Read Story)




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 EUROPEAN ROCKET ABORTS SECONDS FROM LAUNCH: Europe's workhorse in launching satellites suffered an on-the-pad launch abort seconds before it's boosters were to ignite on Wednesday.

 The Vulcain 2 single main engine ignites in the final seven seconds before launch. During this time, computers in miliseconds checkout every aspect of the rocket to ensure it it safe to launch.

 An issue with the engine was likely detected according to arianespace, however it is too soon to know the cause for another day.  
(Abort Story)





 JAPANESE CARGO CRAFT LEAVES SPACE STATION: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station on March 28 released a trash-filled Japanese supply craft out into space on course for it's fiery reentry on Tuesday.

 Bolts mating the craft with Harmony were then released allowing for NASA astronaut Cady Coleman to slowly move it out and away.

 Coleman then unsnared the arm releasing the golden cargo craft at 11:46 a.m., before sending commands to perform two burns to separate from the orbiting outpost.  
 (Read Story)





 SPACE SHUTTLE VETERAN EYES FUTURE SPACE STATION TRIP: Astronaut Stephanie Wilson is no stranger to working in space, and after three space shuttle flights she looks forward to the day when she will make a fourth visit as a resident aboard the International Space Station.

On March 25, Ms. Wilson brought the home movies from her most recent flight last April on NASA's 131st space shuttle mission to share with an audience at the Tellus Science Center in Georgia.   (Read Story)





 AMERICAN KELLY, TWO COSMONAUTS LAND SAFELY: One American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts completed their day stay aboard the International Space Station on March 16, departing and landing on the snowy region in Kazakhstan.

Outgoing station commander and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly along with Russian's Alexander Kalery and Oleg Skripochka said their goodbyes to the new commander of the outpost Dmitry Kondratyev, and flight engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli on Tuesday evening.  (Read Story)




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 SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD: One day after space shuttle Discovery returned home from her final voyage, sister ship Endeavour was moved out to her ocean side launch pad to prepare for her final flight in April.

 Shuttle Endeavour left the massive Vehicle Assembly Building last Thursday night at 7:55 p.m. EST, to begin the 3 mile trek upon a gravel-covered road out to launch pad 39-A here at the Kennedy Space Center.  
(Read Story)





 DELTA IV LOFTS MILITARY SATELLITE: A powerful Delta IV rocket carried a classified reconnaissance satellite for the U.S. military into earth orbit on Friday from America's Space Coast.

 The United Launch Alliance Delta IV-medium will carry the NROL-27 for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office in support of the military's national defense.

 Friday's launch marked the fifteenth Delta IV launch since 2002.

 Launch of the Boeing-built Delta IV with it's classified military payload occurred on March 11 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. 
(Read preLaunch Story)




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 AIR FORCE MINI SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCHES: A second space shuttle is soaring today upon the ocean of space, this one unmanned and half the size of NASA's orbiters, following it's lift-off March 5 from Cape Canaveral for the Air Force.

 This is the second X-37B space plane which closely resembles the space shuttle to reach orbit in less than one year.

 Launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5-501 rocket with the X-37B a top occurred on time on March 5 at 5:46 p.m. EST, from complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
 (Read Launch Story)




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 NASA GLORY LAUNCHES, FAILS TO REACH SPACE: A NASA satellite poised to begin a mission of understanding as it studies the earth's atmosphere and it's reaction to the Sun's output was lost during it's launch on Friday.

 NASA's Glory spacecraft was to have joined several current satellites in orbit known as the A-Train as they research the composition of the earth's atmosphere, or "biosphere and climate", according to Goddard Space Flight Center.

 Launch occurred at 5:09:43 am EST, from Vandenberg, AFB in California.   (Launch Story)




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 DISCOVERY DOCKS WITH SPACE STATION FOR FINAL TIME: The International Space Station welcomed six astronauts and a new storage module Saturday as shuttle Discovery docked to the outpost this afternoon.

Like a white dove soaring to her nest upon the black vastness of space, Discovery cruised up to and slowly backed in to dock one last time with a space station.

 Discovery's commander Steve Lindsey steered the shuttle ...  
(Mission Story)




spacelaunch news | Glory on orbit

 SPACECRAFT TO LAUNCH IN MARCH TO STUDY EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE:  A NASA satellite is poised to begin a mission of understanding in early March as it studies the earth's atmosphere and it's reaction to the Sun's output.

 NASA's Glory spacecraft will join several current satellites in orbit known as the A-Train as they research the composition of the earth's atmosphere, or "biosphere and climate", according to Goddard Space Flight Center.   
 (Read Preview Story)




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 SHUTTLE DISCOVERY LAUNCHES ON HER FINAL FLIGHT: The space shuttle Discovery lifted-off on Thursday on one last voyage upon the ocean of space.

 "Get ready to witness the power and majesty of Discovery on her final ride," Discovery's commander Steve Lindsey announced minutes for lift-off.

 NASA's oldest space shuttle launched at 4:53:24 p.m. EST, from launch complex 39-A at Kennedy Space Center.
(Mission Story)  (Pilot Eric Boe Interview )




SpaceLaunch News

 ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES EUROPEAN CARGO CRAFT TO SPACE STATION: The workhorse of the European Space Agency lifted off on Feb. 16 with a cargo craft loaded with fresh supplies bound for the International Space Station.

The 200th launch of an Ariane rocket and only the 56th Ariane 5 flight launched on time with the rocket's heaviest payload to date riding a top.

At launch, the space station soared 222 miles high over northern Bolivia... (Read Story)




 NASA'S VALENTINE ENCOUNTER IN DEEP SPACE: A NASA spacecraft made a Valentine's night pass by a fast moving comet in the hopes of learning more about the icy rock.

The Stardust-NExT (New Exploration of Tempel) spacecraft flew to within 112 miles of the comet Tempel 1 on Feb. 14 at about 11:58 pm EST.

"Stardust-NExT is a mission to reuse the Stardust spacecraft to further the exploration of comet Tempel 1," principle investigator Joe Veverka explained.  (Read Story)




 VANDENBERG, AFB LAUNCHES SMALL MILITARY SATELLITE: An Orbital Sciences rocket lifted off on Sunday morning from it's California launch site on a military satellite delivery flight.

The 63-foot tall Minotaur I launched from Vandenberg, AFB at 7:26 a.m. EST (4:26 a.m. local time) on February 6 from Space Launch Complex-8.

The launch carried the small National Reconnaissance Office's 66 (NROL-66) spacecraft for the U.S. military into low earth orbit.  (Read Story)





 CHALLENGER'S ENDURING MISSION: 25 YEARS STRONG: The loss of the space shuttle Challenger and her crew of seven a quarter century ago on January 28 marked not just a significant place in American history, but helped capture the imagination of the country and it's youth.

As Challenger sat poised to begin the twenty-fifth space shuttle mission, students around the United States and select countries around the world tuned in to CNN to watch the launch as it happened. (Read Story)




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 JAPAN'S WHITE STORK CARGO CRAFT DOCKED TO STATION: Japanese cargo craft loaded with tons of fresh food and equipment was plucked out of orbit by the crew of the International Space Station today and docked following it's five day orbital journey. 

 Space station astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Catherine Coleman used a 58-foot robotic arm to capture the unmanned craft at 6:41 a.m. EST, as the orbital pair flew 224 miles high off eastern Madagascar.
  (Read Story)




 THE PRIDE OF JAPAN'S SPACE FUTURE LAUNCHES: Japan's largest rocket successfully carried into earth orbit Saturday their second supply ship loaded with supplies bound for the International Space Station.

 The supply craft, also known as the
 KOUNOTORI 2, is an improved version of the first supply craft launched in 2009 to allow for more cargo.

KOUNOTORI was selected as the name in a contest held...  (Read Story)





 MASSIVE ROCKET LAUNCHES FROM CALIFORNIA: A secret military defense satellite for the United States headed into space on Jan. 20 aboard the most massive rocket ever launched from the California coast.

 The United States' National Reconnaissance Office L-49 satellite is one of the largest payloads to be placed into a polar orbit around earth, and will serve as both an early warning platform for incoming foreign threats and to observe known hostile regions.

 This flight marked the first space shot of the new year for the United States.
  (Read Launch Story)




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 SHUTTLE DISCOVERY LAUNCH TARGETED FOR FEB. 24: Technicians have begun work repairing and strengthening newly discovered cracks on the support beams on the fuel tank of the space shuttle Discovery.

Four new cracks were discovered following x-ray scans of the inter tank region on the opposite side of Discovery's mate on the external tank in the last days of December. (Read Launch Story)




 ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES TWO SATELLITES: Europe's mighty Ariane rocket carried two telecommunications satellites into earth orbit on Wednesday on the final space shot of the year.

Moments after the setting sun dropped below the South American horizon, the pride of the European Space Agency illuminated the darkening sky as the Ariane 5 soared from it's pad.

Riding on twin solid rocket boosters and a core main engine, the Ariane 5 launched on time at 4:27:07 pm EST, on Dec. 29, from the Kourou Space Center.  (Read Launch Story)




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 INDIA's GSLV ROCKET LAUNCHES, EXPLODES: India received a jolt on Christmas Day moments after the launch of their GSLV-F06 rocket with the GSAT-5P satellite bound for geostationary orbit.

 The rocket lifted-off at 5:34 am EST (4:04 pm local time).

 The rocket exploded in air as the first stage burned, the country's Satish Dhawan Space Center stated.

 A scrub on Dec. 19 was related to a leak in the third stage which used... 
 (Read Story)




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 SHUTTLE DISCOVERY RETURNS TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING: In the hopes of performing new x-ray scans on the back side of the external tank, technicians moved space shuttle Discovery from her launch pad on December 22 to the vehicle assembly building.

The 3.4 mile rollback from launch pad 39-A to the massive assembly building began Tuesday night at 10:48 p.m. EST, following a one day delay due to a clearance issue with the crawler transporter.

The combined stack of the space shuttle, mobile launcher platform and...    (Read Story)




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 LUNAR ECLIPSE VIEWED BY NORTH AMERICA: Overcast skies across the Unites States forced many amateur astronomers inside to watch Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse by way of live video on the Internet. 

 Clouds over much of the country disappointed astronomers from watching the celestial show on this the first day of winter as the earth wedged between the Sun and the moon.
 Low clouds over metro Atlanta forced many residents to...    (Read Story)




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 SPACE TAXI DELIVERS NEW SPACE STATION RESIDENTS: A manned Russian spacecraft docked to the International Space Station December 17 following it's two day chase in earth orbit.

The Soyuz TMA-20 with an American, Russian and Italian docked to the station's Rassvett module at 3:11 pm EST (2011 GMT), as the two crafts flew 224 miles high in the darkness above southwestern Africa.

Russian Dmitry Kondratyev, American Catherine "Cady" Coleman and...   (Read Docking Story)




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 NASA FUEL DISCOVERY'S TANK IN LEAK TEST: NASA loaded cryogenic fuels into the external tank of space shuttle Discovery on December 17 in hopes of learning more on a leak repair job performed.

 Fueling of the tank's two inner tanks of 535,000 gallons of super cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen began just after 7AM EST.

 The launch team hopes to confirm that a gaseous hydrogen leak which scrubbed Discovery's November 5th launch attempt has been repaired.  (Read STS-133 Stories)




 DISCOVERY: AMERICA'S SPACECRAFT OF THE AGES: The space shuttle Discovery -- a beautiful white dove and NASA's work horse for a quarter century -- is just weeks away from the start of her thirty-ninth and final voyage upon the ocean of space.

 This reporter has personally witnessed several of Discovery's milestones, including a beautiful low pass over Kelly AFB, Texas in 1989 as she rode a top a Boeing 747 after her STS-29 mission; the launches of several of her flights beginning with STS-53 from inside Kennedy Space Center; and the beautiful IMAX high quality video as she sailed around two different space stations. 
  (Read Story)




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 SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY ORBITS DRAGON CRAFT: A private rocket company launched an unmanned spacecraft and returned it safely to earth on Dec. 8 in a test flight for NASA to demonstrate future ferry flights to the International Space Station.

 Space Exploration Technologies or Space X is a private company founded by PayPal founder Elon Musk. The company developed their Falcon 9 rocket in support of lofting an unmanned cargo craft to the space station in 2011, and attempt human space flights over the next decade. (Read Story)





 SPACEX TEST FIRES FALCON 9 ENGINES AHEAD OF LAUNCH: A private rocket destined for trips to resupply the International Space Station performed a successful engine test on Dec. 4 just days before it's launch.

A private company known as SpaceX is developing their Falcon 9 rocket in support of lofting an unmanned cargo craft to the space station in 2011, and human space flights over the next decade.

The engine test occurred at 10:50 am EST, and last a few seconds before computer commands were sent to shut the engines down.   
 (Read Story)




 NASA DELAYS DISCOVERY MISSION UNTIL FEBRUARY: NASA mission managers have delayed the next space shuttle flight to February in connection with tests needed on cracks discovered on the spacecraft's fuel tank.

 Launch of Discovery now is planned for no earlier than February 3 at 1:34 am EST. Discovery will spend 11 days in space bringing fresh supplies to the International Space Station. It will also be her last space flight.

 The delay has also pushed the launch of the follow up mission by Endeavour to the morning of April 1.




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 AIR FORCE X-37B SPACE PLANE RETURNS TO EARTH: The Air Force's first unmanned space shuttle glided home to a night time landing in California on Friday morning following a historic mission.

The X-37B mini-shuttle made a pinpoint touchdown at Vandenberg, AFB northeast of Los Angeles on Dec. 3 at 4:16 am EST, following nearly 225 days in space.

X-37B program manager Lt Col Troy Giese stated moments after landing, "We are pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission."  
Read our past X-37B Stories




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 NASA MANAGERS DELAY DISCOVERY FLIGHT: Engineers at the Kennedy Space Center are performing imaging checks and performing tests for cracks which scrubbed space shuttle Discovery's launch earlier this month.

 Launch is targeted as no earlier than December 17 at 8:51 pm EST. A review of the status on the repairs will come in early December to determine the readiness of the repaired tank.

  (Read STS-133 Stories)




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 ULA DELTA II LAUNCHES ITALIAN SURVEILLANCE SATELLITE:  After several delays this week, a Delta rocket lifted-off on Nov. 5 from southern California on a satellite deployment mission for Italy.

The United Launch Alliance Delta II 7420-10 launched from Vandenberg, AFB at 10:20:03 pm EDT, with the Italian COSMO SkyMed 4 surveillance satellite.

Vandenberg is a Pacific coast military air base located three hours north...  (Read Story)




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 GASESOUS FUEL LEAK, FOAM CRACK DELAYS DISCOVERY LAUNCH:  NASA managers scrubbed a Nov. 5 launch attempt of space shuttle Discovery until NET Dec. 3 due to a fuel leak and crack on the external tank.

 Fueling of her tank with super cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen began at 6:09 am EDT. But at 7:50 am, the launch team detected a small LH2 leak from the carrier plate on the rust colored external fuel tank. (Read Mission Updates)




 ARIANE 5 DELIVERS TWO SATELLITES TO ORBIT THURSDAY: An Arianespace heavy lift rocket lifted dual satellites into orbit on Thursday which will offer direct to home television service for Europe over to Asia and Japan.

 Lift-off occurred on time on October 28 at 5:51:07 pm EDT (21.51 GMT) -- the opening of a seventy minute launch window -- from complex 3 in Kourou, French Guiana.

 On Saturday, the launch team performed a launch rehearsal as they ready the entire launch system for Thursday.
 (Read Story)




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 PROGRESS CRAFT LAUNCHES TO STATION: A Russian rocket on Wednesday sent aloft a spacecraft full of food and supplies bound for the six person crew of the International Space Station.

As a grocery store might deliver goods to your home, Russia launched 2.5 tons of multiple supplies up to the orbiting outpost 221 miles in space.

The night time lift-off occurred on October 27 at 11:11:49 am EDT (1511 GMT) from Pad 1 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  (Read Story)





 NASA SETS NOVEMBER 1 LAUNCH DATE FOR SHUTTLE: NASA managers met Monday to select a formal launch date for America's space shuttle Discovery.

 Liftoff of Discovery on her final flight is targeted for this Monday, November 1 at 4:40:26 pm EDT. The mission to supply the International Space Station is set to last twelve days.

 Engineers discussed...   (Read Mission Story)




 EDITORIAL: SO WHAT'S UP, AMERICA?: Did You Know that the space shuttle program was and still is responsible for more than entertaining the idea of handing the opportunity for other countries to get ahead of us in the space race?  (Read Story)





 SOYUZ CAPSULE RETURNS STATION CREW HOME: Two Russians and one American returned back to earth on September 25 after spending 177 days in earth orbit, living and working aboard the International Space Station.

Soyuz TMA18 spacecraft commander and outgoing leader of the Expedition 24 crew, Alexander Skvortsov and flight engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko touched down upon the desert of Kazakhstan, near the town of Arkalyk on Saturday at 1:23 am EDT (0523 GMT).  (Read Story)




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 ULA ATLAS 5 LAUNCH FROM CALIFORNIA: A powerful Atlas rocket lifted off on Monday night carring an undisclosed payload for the U.S. military from it's California launch site.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched from Vandenberg, AFB on Monday, September 20 at 9:03 pm PDT (12:03 am EDT) following a delay due to orbiting satellites above.

Launched into a polar orbit, the NROL-41 satellite is owned by the National Reconnaissance Office. Minutes after launch, a news blackout fell upon the flight as the DoD and launch team went silent on the flight's information. The idenity of the payload nor it's purpose is known.




 ILS PROTON-M LAUNCHES ARABSAT SATELLITE: A Russian rocket lifted-off with an advanced direct to home broadcast satellite for Arab Satellite Communications as the company increases support for Saudi Arabia and Africa.

Arabsat's BADR-5 satellite will operate in an orbital plane close to the BADR-4 and 6 satellites, broadcasting direct to home network channels, and expand Arabsat's high def channels lineup.

Liftoff of the International Launch Services Proton-M from...  (Read Story)




 SOYUZ CRAFT MAKES SOFT LANDING: A trio of crew members who spent six months living in space returned back to earth on June 1 just hours after undocking from the International Space Station.

 Beautiful blue skies and 65 degrees greeted the returning crew at it's landing site in the isolated region in northern Kazakhstan.

 Expedition 23 commander Oleg Kotov and Flight ..
. (Landing Story)  (Watch post-Landing)





 ULA DELTA 4 LAUNCHES ADVANCED GPS SATELLITE: An advanced Global Positioning System satellite was carried into orbit on May 27 which will provide the United States military aviation and land vehicles with a greater signal accuracy.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV lifted-off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's launch complex 37 at 11:00:01 pm EDT, on Thursday, on a 105.28...  (Watch the Launch)   (Launch Story)





 ATLANTIS RETURNS HOME TO AMERICA'S SPACEPORT: Streaking out of the blue Florida sky, shuttle Atlantis returned home to the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday concluding twelve days and 186 orbits of the earth.

Atlantis commander Kenneth Ham and pilot Tony Antonelli fired the shuttle's breaking engines to slow the orbiter down by 220 miles to allow the craft to begin her fall out of an orbit 220 miles high.  (Flight Journal)   - Read our Launch Story    - STS-132 Launch/Mission Videos




 ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES ON GOLDEN FLIGHT: The European Space Agency's Ariane 5 rocket marked her fiftieth flight on May 21 successfully delivering two satellites into earth orbit.

Carrying dual satellites -- ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2 -- this first Ariane flight of 2010 was delayed nearly two months due to technical issues at the pad during it's first launch attempt in March.

A quality review board investigated the Ariane 5 launch campaign for this flight to learn why the issues... (Read Complete Story)




 JAPAN LAUNCHES VENUS SPACE OBSERVATORY: A Japanese space observatory departed Earth on May 20 bound for Venus as it begins a multi-year mission to study the planet's mysterious atmosphere.

The Venusian atmosphere as a whole is one of the great mysteries in our solar system -- from it's make up and fast rotating upper atmosphere to why it differs so much from it's twin planet, Earth.  (Read Complete Story)





 NASA TESTS FUTURE LAUNCH ESCAPE SYSTEM: A new version of a launch escape system for the upcoming Orion manned spacecraft was successfully tested on May 6 at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility.

The new escape system is designed to pull the Orion craft away from a troubled or exploding core rocket from prelaunch or up thru the initial launch phase. The Pad Abort 1 test launched at 9:00:01 am EDT, on Thursday, May 6 in New Mexico. (Watch the NASA Video (Read Complete Story)




 RESUPPLY CRAFT DOCKS WITH STATION: A Russian cargo craft filled to the top with supplies was docked successfully Saturday by the commander of the International Space Station after an automatic system failed on it's approach. 

 As the Progress M-05M spacecraft begin it's rendezvous sequence, the Kurs automated rendezvous system failed at a range of 3,280 feet from it's docking port.

 The system failure forced the station's commander Oleg Kotov...
 (Read Story)




 RECENT SATELLITES OBSERVE GULF OIL SPILL: Two NASA satellites and one from the European Space Agency are keeping the American government informed of the environmental damaged caused by a looming oil spill in the northern Gulf Of Mexico.

Explosions rocked an oil drilling platform located 55 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River on April 20, sending a crude oil slick onto the waters of the Gulf.

The Deepwater Horizon platform then sunk on April 22 causing...  (Read Story)




 PROTON ROCKET LOFTS AMERICAN SATELLITE : An American satellite design to provide high definition television and high speed data to North America was launched from Kazakhstan on Saturday.

Lift-off of an International Launch Services Russian Proton-M occurred at 7:19:01 am EDT (1119 GMT) on April 24, darting it's way into a warm blue sky.

The satellite will operate for SES World Skies from a geostationary altitude located at 101 degrees west.  (Read Story)




 AIR FORCES's SPACE PLANE ORBITS EARTH : An Atlas rocket placed a winged spacecraft into orbit for the Air Force April 22 which will test new technologies and pave the way for a smaller military space shuttle.

The delta winged X37-B space plane is a test vehicle and will orbit earth for an unknown time -- likely several days to several weeks.   (Read Story)




 AMMONIA: KEEPING SPACE FLIGHT COOL: The gases used in the Space Shuttle Program are for things the general public does not associate with everyday use. Some of the gases are no longer used in the United States because of EPA regulations which have become so strict.

 For example, Ammonia is no longer used in the United States as a Refrigerant Gas, but it is the Gas used as the Refrigerant Gas for the Air Conditioning System on the International Space Station.  (Read Story)




 DISCOVERY LANDS AT AMERICA'S SPACEPORT : The crew of the space shuttle Discovery steered their ship home landing on Tuesday morning at the Kennedy Space Center.

 Low clouds and some moisture near the runway forced Discovery to retarget the landing at
KSC runway 33 one orbit late at 9:08 am EDT.

NASA's oldest active shuttle flew across America's heartland as commander... (Read Story)




 INDIA'S ROCKET LAUNCH FAILS TO REACH ORBIT : India's upgraded GSLV rocket with a new cryogenic upper stage lifted-off on April 15 on a satellite delivery mission, only to begin tumbling when the upper stage's vernier engines did not light.

 The GSLV-D3 (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket launched on April 15th from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, located on India's southeastern coastline, on time at 6:57 am EDT (10:57 GMT). 

 As the rocket lept upward it passed through cloudy skies as it began flying out over the eastern Indian Ocean.  
 (Read Story)




 THE WORLD CELEBRATES YURI'S NIGHT 2010: Forty-seven cities around the globe held multiple parties this evening in celebration of the first human space flight forty-nine years ago.

Known as Yuri's Night, thousands of average citizens up to astronauts themselves attended parties with live bands, food, and in some places aerospace artifacts and rides in celebration of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's launch into the vast then unknown on April 12, 1961.

In America, the parties also celebrated the first space shuttle launch...  (Read Story)




 DISCOVERY SOARS ON RESUPPLY FLIGHT TO SPACE STATION : The predawn launch of space shuttle Discovery today created a beautiful light show on America's Space Coast as it began a chase with her port-of-call, the International Space Station.

 Discovery lifted-off from the Kennedy Space Center at 6:21:24 am EDT, this morning to begin a two week long mission to deliver supplies, cargo and a new ammonia tank to the orbital complex.

 The predawn launch occurred fourteen minutes after the space station...  (Read Story)




 NASA's MARSHALL CELEBRATES GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY:  Springtime vacations in the southeastern United States are always a fun and exciting time for families.

Whether it's taking in some sun on the beach; visiting scenic attractions and national parks; or the NASA space centers spread across four states -- there is always something cool to do.

 One great destination is the site where the first rocket engine tests were performed and the space shuttle began to take shape -- The Redstone Arsenal and the George...   (Read Story)




 RUSSIAN ROCKET LAUNCHES EUROPEAN ICE MISSION : A new earth observation satellite built to collect data on the earth's polar ice caps lifted-off from a Russian launch site on Thursday beginning a multi-year mission.

The International Space Company's Kosmotros Dnepr (RS-20) rocket launched the European Space Agency's Cryosat 2 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on April 8th at 9:57:05 am EDT (1357 GMT).   (Read Story)




 THE AMERICAN WEATHER SATELLITE MARKS GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY:  America's first weather satellite soared into space and recorded the historic first images of planet earth fifty years ago this week.

On April 1, 1960, a Thor-Able rocket lept from a deserted launch pad 17-A at 6:40 am EST, and into the history books from Cape Canaveral with the country's first weather eye on the sky. The rocket climbed high at a fast rate as it carried the 270 pound cylindrical...  (Read Story)




 ARIANE 5 LAUNCH DELAYED: A European Space Agency Ariane launcher remains poised to blast-off from South America to deliver two communications satellites, however a technical issue continues to keep it grounded.

The fiftieth Ariane 5 mission will carry ASTRA 3B & COMSATBw-2 satellites into space in April, one for the European region and a second for the German military. Stay tuned for new launch details on this flight of the Ariane 5, and when it does go up we will have live televised coverage.  Read our recent Ariane 5 Stories in the meantime.




 RUSSIAN PROTON LAUNCHES ECHOSTAR XIV : A Russian rocket launched a new satellite for the DISH-TV cable system on March 20 as the company expands it's North America broadcast services in high definition.

An International Launch Services Proton-M rocket carried the EchoStar XIV spacecraft from pad 39 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, March 20 at 2:27 pm EDT (1827 GMT). Lift-off weight of the fueled rocket was 1.55 million pounds.

 This latest EchoStar will...  
(Read Story)   (
EchoStar 14 Launch Video RePlay)




 RUSSIAN DNEPR ROCKET TO LAUNCH ICE MISSION : A new earth observation satellite built to collect data on the earth's polar ice caps is scheduled to lift-off from a Russian launch in April on a multi-year mission.

The International Space Company's Kosmotros Dnepr rocket is scheduled to launch the European Space Agency's Cryosat 2 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in... (Read Story)




spacelaunch news

 STATION CREW LANDS SAFELY AFTER 169 DAYS IN SPACE: The recent American commander of the International Space Station and his Russian flight engineer departed the orbital complex and returned home on March 18 following a busy six-month stay.

The outgoing Expedition 22 commander Jeffery Williams and cosmonaut Max Suraev said their goodbyes to the three fellow residents of the new Expedition 23 crew, and climbed aboard their Soyuz TMA16 spacecraft to begin the return trip home. Undocking by the Soyuz from the Poisk Mini-Research Module occurred at 4:03 am EDT on Thursday morning, as...  (Read Story)




 SHUTTLE DISCOVERY MAKES HER WAY TO PAD 39A: Technicians at the Kennedy Space Center moved the space shuttle Discovery to her pad in preparation for an Easter Monday launch.

Discovery began moving to her seaside launch pad at 12AM EST on March 4th following several days of connection checks between the three attachment points on the orbiter's belly to the fuel tank.

 Launch of NASA's 131st space shuttle flight is planned for April 5 at 6:21 am EDT. (Read Story)





 DELTA IV LAUNCH NEWEST WEATHER SATELLITE: A next generation weather satellite was carried into space on March 4 to begin a decade long mission to study both the weather here on earth and in the vacuum of space.

 The satellite will begin to study the weather for North America and have an eye trained back at the Sun to both image and study the solar activity and its effect on earth. Lift-off of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket occurred following a...  
(Read Story)




 ENDEAVOUR LANDS IN FLORIDA, FOUR FLIGHTS REMAIN : Dropping out of a dark Florida sky and through scattered clouds, the space shuttle Endeavour landed Sunday February 21 following a milestone mission which saw her crew install our window on space and the world.

NASA's Spaceflight Meteorology Group kept their eyes on the weather all through the day, as several cloud decks and nearby rain showers threatened to delay the shuttle's landing in both Florida and her alternate landing site in California.  (Read Story)




 RUSSIAN PROTON LAUNCHES INTELSAT 16 HD SATELLITE : A Russian Proton rocket launched a new communications satellite into orbit tonight set to provide high definition broadcasting for the Latin American region.

The International Launch Services Proton M rocket lifted-off at 7:39 pm EST, Feb. 12 (0039 GMT) or 6:39 am local time Friday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  (Read Story)

 ATLAS LOFTS NASA SOLAR OBSERVATORY: A NASA satellite designed to study the Sun's effect on earth, including the occurrence of severe space weather, was carried aloft on February 11 by an Atlas rocket from America's Space Coast.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory will set the stage as the space agency begins a new program known as Living with a Star. The SDO will spend over five years studying earth's closest star, our Sun, and the solar weather it emits and it's traverse across space and upon earth.

The solar spacecraft lifted-off atop a...  (Read Story)  (Atlas 5 SDO Launch Video)




 RUSSIAN SOYUZ LAUNCHES STATION SUPPLIES : A Russian rocket lifted-off on time on February 3 carrying fresh supplies and fuel for the five member crew of the International Space Station.

A Soyuz U LV rocket launched into the beautiful, but cold blue skies of Baikonur Cosmodrome in western Kazakhstan at 10:45:30 pm EST Tuesday evening (345 GMT) or 9:45:30 am Baikonur time, Wednesday morning.

The rocket darted upward and eastward out toward Mongolia carrying the Progress M-04M unmanned supply vehicle -- the 36th cargo filled vehicle bound for the space station.   (Read Story)




 ENDEAVOUR LAUNCHES ON STATION CONSTRUCTION FLIGHT: A new decade of space flight began on February 8th as the weather along America's space coast cleared and the space shuttle Endeavour lifted-off on a construction flight to the International Space Station.

Low clouds over the launch pad here at the Kennedy Space Center gave the launch control team the only concern as a second flawless countdown attempt marched along with no technical issues worked.

(Read Story)                    (Watch Launch Replay)




 NASA's BOLDEN DISCUSSES THE FUTURE : NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden addressed the media here at the Kennedy Space Center on February 6th, answering questions about the space agency's future following President Obama's cancellation of the Constellation program.

relaxed and upbeat Mr. Bolden answered our questions on the shutdown of the Constellation program and exactly what is America's future for placing humans in space -- both low earth orbit and beyond.  (Read Story)




 RUSSIAN PROTON-M DELIVERS DIRECTV SATELLITE: A Russian rocket delivered to orbit an advanced high definition broadcast satellite for the United States on Monday as the final earth launch of the year took place.

A new DirecTV satellite will support broader high definition broadcasts to the United States, and increase the amount of channels DirecTV carries. Liftoff of the Proton M rocket (UR-500) with the DirecTV-12 satellite occurred on time on December 28 at 7:22 pm EST (0022 GMT Dec. 29) from pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  (Read Story)




 NEXT SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION UPDATE: NASA's space shuttle mission management team on Thursday announced a new planning launch date for the next flight.

 Endeavour will carry two segments up to the International Space Station beginning with an early morning launch on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7th. The launch time is planned for 4:39 am EST.

 Endeavour has been mated with her external tank and boosters, and will rollout to her ocean side launch pad 39-A on January 6th at 4AM.

 NEW STATION CREW ARRIVES FOR THE HOLIDAYS: An international crew of five will hang their stockings today near the Space Station's airlock with care in hopes that St. Nick soon will be there.

 A Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft docked with the Russian Zarya section of the International Space Station at 5:48:20 pm EST (1:48 am Moscow time) Tuesday evening 220 miles off the east coast of southern Brazil, and bringing the total crew size from two to five. Carrying a small decorated Christmas tree and wearing a red...  
(Read Story)




 ARIANE 5 LIFTS-OFF WITH FRENCH MILITARY SATELLITE: Just in time for the Holidays, an Ariane 5 lifted-off from South America on Friday giving Arianespace a celebration as they conclude the year with seven successful flights and their 30th year in the launch business.

The Ariane 5 GS fired it's core engine and rocket boosters and launched from pad ELA-3 at the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 11:26:07 am EST, on Dec. 18 (1626 GMT) into a blue sky.

The 151-foot heavy lift launcher...  (Read Story)  (Watch the Launch Replay)




 NASA WISE TELESCOPE LAUNCHES: A new NASA satellite has started on a seven month mission as it aims it's infrared telescope out toward deep space and peers out to uncover new galaxies, asteroids and stars.

 Lift-off of a United Launch Alliance Delta II-7320 rocket occurred under cloudy California skies on Monday, December 14 at 9:09:33 am EST, from Vandenberg, AFB. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) will...  (Read Story)   (Replay the WISE Launch)




 ATLAS V FIGHTS WEATHER DELAYS TO LAUNCH COMSAT: A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket waited out multiple launch delays this week and lifted-off at the last minute tonight on a successful flight to deliver an advanced military communications satellite into orbit.

Weather and a technical glitch delayed this 11th launch of a Delta IV by several days, and again high winds pushed the launch time this evening from the the first minute of the launch window to the final minute. The third Delta IV launch of...  (Read Story)  (Delta IV Launch RePlay)




 RUSSIAN SOYUZ TMA15 UNDOCKS FROM STATION: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft departed the International Space Station with a crew of three following a six month stay, leaving the station a quieter place to live and work.

Orbiting the earth from 220 miles over deep southern Russia near eastern Mongolia, Belgian Frank De Winne, Canadian Robert Thirsk and Russian Roman Romanenko separated from the station at 10:56 pm EST, on Nov. 30th (9:56 am Dec. 1st Kazakhstan time).  (Read Story)




 ATLANTIS CONCLUDES 11-DAY STATION RESUPPLY FLIGHT: The space shuttle Atlantis dropped through a cold, blue sky on Nov. 27th and steered toward a beautiful morning landing at the Kennedy Space Center.

 The ship's deorbit burn occurred on time at 8:37 am EST, on Nov. 27th. The burn slowed the craft down by around 211 mph to allow for it's drop out of earth orbit. Atlantis' touchdown occurred here at KSC runway 33 at 9:44 am...  (Read Story)  (Watch the Landing Replay)




 ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FOLLOWING WEATHER DELAY: A beautiful night launch illuminated America's Space Coast on Nov. 23rd following a 65 minute delay due to high upper level winds over the area.

Launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 occurred at 1:55:01 am EST, this morning from launch complex 41 here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Through Sunday night, the launch team marched toward a 12:50 am lift-off. However, high winds between 22,000 to 25,000 feet...  (Read latest Story)   (Watch the Launch Replay)




 RUSSIAN ROCKOT LAUNCHES DUEL ESA PAYLOADS: A Russian Space Agency rocket successfully carried duel science payloads into a dark, foggy sky on November 2 and up into orbit, including a European satellite which will study the earth's soil and water values over the next few years.

The Canadian Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) science satellite and the Project for Onboard Autonomy (Proba-2) launched from northern Russia aboard the Rockot ballistic missile at 1:50 UTC this morning (8:50 pm EDT on Nov. 1). (Read Launch Story))  (Watch the Launch Replay)




 ARIANE 5 SUCCESSFULLY MARKS SIXTH 2009 FLIGHT: A heavy-lift European launcher lifted-off October 29th from South America on a flight which delivered two communications satellites into earth orbit -- and making it's sixth successful flight of the year.

The European Space Agency's Ariane 5 rocket launched on it's 48th flight at 4:00:07 pm EDT (5PM local time), from the Guiana Space Center as the Sun sat upon French Guiana. Burning 1,300 tons of thrust, the Ariane 5...  (Read our Launch Story)  (Launch Video Replay)




 NASA ARES 1-X SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES: The world's tallest rocket set to carry America to the space station and beyond in 2015 launched into blue skies and into the next generation of space flight -- that is if the Obama administration provides the necessary funding.

Lift-off of the new Ares 1-X test flight from the Kennedy Space Center occurred at 11:30 am EDT on October 28, following a two hour launch delay due to clouds and systems checks caused by several local lightning strikes the...  (Read our Launch Story) (Launch Video Replay)




 ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES INTO FOG AND HISTORY: On a foggy Sunday morning, America's 600th launch of an Atlas rocket occurred on time from Vandenberg, AFB in California on military weather satellite delivery flight.

 The first minutes of the 9:12 am EDT (12:12 pm EDT) launch was normal as the United Launch Alliance Atlas V carried the Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F18, DMSP F18, into geostationary orbit on October 18th. (Read Story)   (Launch Video Replay)




 RUSSIAN CARGO CRAFT LAUNCHES: A Russian Space Agency rocket lofted a major cargo craft into earth orbit early on October 15, beginning a three day journey bound for the International Space Station.

Lift-off from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred Wednesday night at 9:14:37 pm EDT (5:14:37 am Thursday Moscow time) from Pad 1 . The Soyuz upper stage with the Progress M-03M supply ship arrived in a low orbit ten minutes later. The Progress will continue to fly lower than the space station's 222 mile high orbit to allow the craft to...   (Read our Story)



 Atlantis moves to her Launch Pad: NASA and launch teams here at the Kennedy Space Center spent October 14 moving the space shuttle Atlantis out to her ocean side launch pad in preparation for her journey into space next month.

Riding a top Mobile Launcher Platform #3, Atlantis (above, NASA) departed the massive Vehicle Assembly Building to begin her 3.4 mile trip out to launch pad 39-A at 6:38 am EDT on Wednesday morning -- a bit later than planned due to light rain.  (Read Story)



 DUEL IMPACTS HUNT FOR WATER ON MOON: A rocket's upper stage and a NASA spacecraft made craters of their own upon the Moon on October 9th as the space agency begins a strong search for signs of water on the Lunar surface.

 The LCROSS satellite and it's launch booster Centaur slammed into the south pole just four minutes apart beginning with the Centaur at 7:31 am EDT. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) slammed in the Cabeus crater at 7:35:35 am...  (Read our Story)



 DELTA 2 LAUNCHES FROM VANDENBERG, AFB: Earth has it's first high resolution imaging satellite in orbit today following its lift-off into the beautiful blue sky from it's California launch site.

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite was launched into a polar orbit, an orbit which will see the spacecraft cover and create high resolution images of over 94% of the earth's surface as it travels from pole to pole. Lift-off from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg, AFB in California occurred a few minutes late at 2:51 pm EDT (11:51 am local time), due to a...  (Read our Story)



 ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES ON MULTI-SATELLITE FLIGHT: A European Space Agency heavy lift launcher departed the Spaceport in French Guiana on Thursday evening on a multi-satellite delivery mission for both Spain and Germany.

 Lift-off of the 47th Ariane 5 rocket from launch pad ELA-3 at Kourou, located in South America's upper east coast, occurred on October 1 at 5:59:07 pm EDT (6:59 pm local time) -- the opening of a 71 minute launch window. As the clock striked T-0, the Ariane 5's core engine is ignited followed by the vehicle's twin solid rocket boosters...  (Read our Story)



 SOYUZ SPACE CRAFT NEARS SPACE STATION: An international crew of three lifted-off on September 30 from the deserts of Kazakhstan bound for earth's orbital outpost as two of them begin a six month voyage in the ocean of space.

A Russian Soyuz FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA16 spacecraft a top launched on time on September 30 at 3:14:42 am EDT (11:14 am local time) under blue skies from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The nine minute ride to earth orbit...  (Read Our Mission's Stories)



 DELTA 2 LAUNCHES MISSILE DEFENSE SATELLITES: NASA and the United Launch Alliance launched a Delta II rocket on September 25th on a multi-satellite delivery mission for the missile defense agency this morning from America's Space Coast. The countdown for the Delta II-7920 ticked smoothly toward zero without issue, and then lifted off at 8:20 am EDT, and into the blue sky over Cape Canaveral.

(Listen to SLN Radio Coverage)  (Our Delta II - STSS Demo Mission Stories)



 DISCOVERY RETURNS HOME: Heavy gray clouds and anxious technicians greeted the space shuttle Discovery on September 21st as she arrived at America's Spaceport following a 2500 mile journey riding piggyback a top a NASA Boeing 747 jet.

The massive wheels of the 747-200 aircraft slammed the concrete of runway 33 at the shuttle landing facility here at the Kennedy Space Center at 12:06 pm EDT. Inside the orbiter, is a space module which spent one week docked to the ...  (Read the full Story)



 JAPANESE CARGO MODULE DOCKED TO STATION: A Japanese cargo craft with some five tons of supplies and equipment for the international space station was firmly docked to the orbiting complex on Thursday as it begins a six week stay.

The H-II Transfer Vehicle was slowly and carefully aligned with the station's Harmony module's docking port and hard mated officially at 6:26 pm EDT, on September 17 as the orbital pair flew 220 miles above the eastern central Pacific Ocean. The Japanese cargo...  (Read the full Story)



 DISCOVERY LANDS IN CALIFORNIA: Dropping out of a cloudy California blue sky reflected by a setting Sun, the space shuttle Discovery tonight concluded a fourteen day mission to resupply and outfit the international space station with new equipment.

 Discovery's main gear hit the Edwards, AFB concrete runway at 225 mph in the southern California desert at 8:53:25 pm, on September 11. Pilot Kevin Ford then deployed the drag chute to help slow the orbiter...  (Read full Story)  (STS-128 Page)  (Discovery Landing Video)



 A NEW ERA IN JAPAN OPENS: A brand new Japanese cargo module filled with supplies and science experiments successfully lifted-off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on September 10, on it's first flight to dock with the international space station.

 The cargo craft, known as the H-II Transfer Vehicle, will spend one week in earth orbit prior to docking with space station's Kibo Japanese module. Launch of the first flight of the H-IIB rocket occurred on time at 1:01:46 pm EDT
.  [Read Launch Story]



 ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM THE CAPE: A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 successfully lifted-off from America's Space Coast on September 8 on a classified mission to deploy a communications satellite into earth orbit. - Listen to our SLN Radio Coverage -

Launch occurred on time under beautiful blue skies at 5:35:01 pm EDT, from launch complex 41 here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Today's seventeenth flight of an Atlas 5 rocket since 2002 saw the copper...  [ Atlas 5 Launch News Thread]



 We're Heading to Mars in 2011! SpaceLaunch News will travel to Mars in both spirit and name in 2011, and oh, guess what...? You can too!

The name "SpaceLaunch News" will be placed upon a microchip along with thousands of other names from around the globe, and the chip placed aboard the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory rover prior to it's launch in the Fall of 2011.  [Read Story]



 DISCOVERY LAUNCHES: NASA's fourth space shuttle mission of the year thundered into earth orbit on August 29th to begin a two week mission to resupply the international space station with supplies, equipment and a new treadmill.

In the darkness of America's spaceport, Discovery's three main engines roared to life followed by the ignition of her twin solid rocket boosters committing Discovery to a lift-off at 11:59:37 pm EDT, on August 29th...  [Read Story]   [Replay the Delta II Launch]



 ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES: The workhorse of the European Space Agency launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, South America today on a duel satellite delivery mission which will provide strong telecommunications from the central and southern Pacific communities.

 Lift-off of the Ariane 5 on it's fourth flight of the year occurred on time at 6:09:07 pm EDT today, as the twin solid rocket boosters ignited propelling the rocket toward space. Combined with a Vulcan single engine, the boosters burned
...  [Read Story]   [Replay the Ariane 5 Launch]



 DELTA II LIFTS-OFF: A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket departed Cape Canaveral on the morning of July 17 in a sunrise launch to boost a new Global Positioning System satellite into earth orbit.

Launch of the Delta II-7925 from launch complex 17-A occurred at 6:35 am EDT, as the sun's rays brought a hint of red and blue hues upon...  [Read Story]   [Replay the Delta II Launch]



 KEPLER SPIES HOT PLANET: A new NASA space probe has tested its scientific instruments on a very hot giant planet which is orbiting a sun similar to our own in a galaxy far, far away, and this discovery will likely be the first of many for the rookie voyager.

NASA's Kepler space telescope trained its newly calibrated telescope instruments on a gaseous planet very similar to Jupiter. Kepler discovered that the planet's surface is very hot since its orbit is so close to its sun, known as HAT-P-7, as it takes only 2.2 days to orbit... [Read Story]



 ENDEAVOUR RETURNS HOME: Hailing the newly concluded flight of space shuttle Endeavour as a "fantastic mission", the crew departed the orbiter and made a few comments after the traditional walk around of their craft. "What a fantastic mission!", Polansky continued to say. "What can we say but thanks to everybody at the Kennedy Space Center for working so hard on Endeavour. It's a beautiful vehicle and we enjoyed every minute of it."

 Landing occurred at KSC's on July 31 at 10:48:08 am EDT. [VIDEO[Read Story]



 SPACE MONUMENTS: A new monument dedicated to the men and women of the Apollo program of the 1960's thru 1970's was officially dedicated on July 17 at Space View Park in Titusville, Florida.

 Come with SpaceLaunch News photographers Heather Summy and Charles Atkeison as we take you around this beautiful area of the only park built in the shadows of America's space program - the Kennedy Space Center.    [Space View Park 2009]



 HUBBLE RECORDS IMPACT: The Hubble Space Telescope, fresh from a major overhaul in May, recorded a very colorful deep red image of the July 19 asteroid impact on our solar system's largest planet, Jupiter. The Hubble image was taken in high resolution on Thursday (July 23rd) with its Wide Field Camera 3, which was brought up and installed during the May space shuttle Atlantis flight.

Jupiter, now some 360 million miles from earth when the image was taken, was discovered by a lone Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley on July 20th, who took...  [Read Story]



 PROGRESS 34 HEADS TO STATION: A Russian cargo craft full of supplies from the expanded permanent crew of six aboard the international space station lifted-off on July24th for docking.

Today's launch of a Progress M-67 (34) craft aboard a Soyuz-U rocket occurred at 6:56:56 am EDT, or 4:56 pm local time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in western Russia. The Progress supply ship would dock about 48 hours following launch to the space station, however with space shuttle Endeavour continuing...   [Read Story]



 APOLLO 11 @ 40: Forty years ago, two NASA astronauts brought a golden spacecraft down upon the Moon's surface, and stepped onto another world as America walked upon the lunar surface for the first time.

Launched on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission was commanded by Neil A. Armstrong. Command module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Lunar Module Pilot Michael Collins rounded out the crew. Following a white-knuckle, trouble-filled ride down to the lunar surface...  [SLN Recalls Apollo 11]



Click Here

 SLN MAGAZINE 1998: SpaceLaunch News recalls our 1998 issue and its story on the legendary Walter Cronkite, following his passing on Friday night in New York. For the STS-95 issue, we covered Walter's return to the news desk.

 The issue also includes stories on John Glenn's return to space, and the passing of astronaut Alan Shepard. Click to view a few of the pages from this collector's issue.  [STS-95 Issue]



 ARIANE 5's SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT: A European Space Agency Ariane V heavy-lift booster rocketed off its South America launch pad on July 1st carrying the largest commercial satellite which will allow cellular PDA phones satellite voice across America and Canada.

Lift-off of Ariane's 31st consecutive successful launch occurred at 1:52 pm EDT, with only ten minutes left in the two hour launch window due to a weather hold. This 189th Ariane mission launched from it's French Guiana launch pad under cloudy skies.   [Ariane V Updates]



 GOES-O WEATHER SATELLITE: A new weather satellite successfully arrived into earth orbit on June 27 following a beautiful ride aboard a Delta IV rocket from America's space coast. The United Launch Alliance Delta IV, with its twin boosters, lifted off at 6:51 pm EDT, 37 minutes late due to severe thunderstorms and lightning near it's launch pad here at Cape Canaveral, AFS.

 Acording to NASA, GOES-O "will add to the global community of knowledge, embracing many civil and government environmental forecasting organizations that work to benefit people everywhere and help save lives".    [GOES-O Updates]



 NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter entered our moon's orbit June 23, beginning a year long period of imaging the lunar surface for possible manned landing sites as America returns to the moon in 2020. Over the next few days, according to NASA's Ames Research Center, the spacecraft will begin powering up its instruments and imager and begin to lower its orbit slightly to begin mapping operations.

Meanwhile, the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite gave it's scientists their first data and LIVE television of the earth's moon from...   [LRO/LCROSS Updates]



 NEW STATION CREW LAUNCHES: Under blue skies, a Russian Soyuz rocket lifted-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 26 with a truly international crew of three on a two day flight to the international space station.

Russian Roman Romanenko, European Frank De Winne and Canadian Robert Thirsk lifted-off from their launch pad in southeast Russia on May 26 at 6:34 am EDT or 4:34 pm local time. Launch came as the space station flew 220 miles high over the southern Pacific Ocean as it approached... [Read Story]



 ATLANTIS LANDS IN CALIFORNIA: The space shuttle Atlantis fired her jets and returned home to America with a desert runway landing at sunny Edwards, AFB in California on May 24. Continuing rain bands flowing up the Space Coast caused Mission Control to reroute the mission from a landing at the Kennedy Space Center to a beautiful blue sky Edwards landing.

 "Ten feet. Five feet. One foot...Touchdown!" pilot Johnson radioed to his commander as the main gear hit the desert runway at 220 mph at 10:39:05 am EDT.  [Read Story]     |     SLN on Twitter    |    Recent Launches

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