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Endeavour rolls to VAB

Shuttle Endeavour is transported from its hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building for joining with a fuel tank and boosters for launch on STS-118.


Welcome home, Atlantis

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft touches down on Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 on July 3, delivering Atlantis back to its homeport after a two-day coast-to-coast ferry flight.

 Landing | Tow

Atlantis heads home

Nine days after landing at Edwards Air Force Base to conclude the STS-117 mission, Atlantis begins its cross-country ferry flight back to Florida.

 Taxi | Takeoff

Dawn preview movie

Learn more about the upcoming Dawn mission that will use an ion engine propulsion system to visit two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt.


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Next Mars lander

The news media was invited into the cleanroom where the "Phoenix" lander is being readied for launch this summer bound for northern Mars to examine water ice. See a panorama showing the lander tucked into its Earth-to-Mars cruise spacecraft.


Chinese television satellite boosted into Earth orbit

Posted: July 5, 2007

China's most powerful rocket streaked into space Thursday with a communications satellite designed to broadcast television channels across Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

The Chinasat 6B satellite launched aboard a Long March 3B rocket at 1208 GMT (8:08 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Xichang space center in southwestern China. State media later reported the three-stage booster successfully reached orbit and deployed the 10,000-pound spacecraft.

The flight was the seventh Chinese space launch so far this year.

Chinasat 6B will guide itself into a geostationary orbit in the next few weeks, eventually reaching an altitude of 22,300 miles. The craft's speed will match Earth's rotation, and it will hover over a spot along the Equator near Indonesia.

The craft's 38 C-band transponders will cover China and other parts of Asia for up to 15 years.

The state-owned China Satellite Communications Corp. will operate Chinasat 6B. The craft was built in France by Thales Alenia Space.

Chinasat 6B will beam television programming across China, including the country's most remote regions, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The satellite will broadcast up to 300 television channels to customers, according to a Thales statement.

China is expected to launch Chinasat 9 this fall. The direct-to-home broadcasting satellite will be capable of broadcasting high-definition television signals to customers with a small receiving dish.