Author John Bretschneider

The U.S. Air Force Band performs a holiday concert Dec. 15 celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy center in Chantilly, Va . In the foreground is the X-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter prototype, one of many Air Force artifacts on display at the museum. Elmer Hill, 107, believed to be the oldest-surviving WWII Navy combat veteran is honored during the holiday concert.

UPDATE: Launch on 1-hour hold due to downrange spacecraft tracking issues. Now expected to launch approximately 8:30 pm Eastern time. NASA and Orbital Sciences are set to launch the Air Force STPSat-3 spacecraft atop a re-purposed Minuteman II missile Tuesday, Nov. 19 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia Eastern Shore. The Minotaur launch vehicle is scheduled for liftoff at 7:30 p.m. EST, the start of a two-hour launch window. Weather permitting, the booster’s flame trail should be visible from Augusta Maine to Jacksonville, Fla. Also aboard the launcher are 28 miniature CubeSat payloads, measuring 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) per…

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. An Atlas V/Centaur rocket carrying a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite successfully lifted off at 8:48 p.m., lighting up the evening sky over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The payload, dubbed TDRS-K is the 11th in a series of NASA communications satellites that provide a constant data flow between government satellites in low earth orbit and their operational ground units. The satellite was successfully separated from its booster about 1 hour, 46 minutes after launch.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA –  An Atlas V is rolled out to launch pad 41 this morning at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Launch is set for Wednesday, Jan. 30 with a half-hour launch window starting at 8:48 p.m. Eastern. The mission is planned to deploy NASA’s 11th Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) payload, replacing an earlier TDRS satellite that has been on orbit for 30 years. The TDRS constellation provides constant communication relay services to U.S. government satellites in low earth orbit. (Air Force Times photos/John Bretschneider)