'A Heck of a Push': 30 Years Since the Dramatic Rescue of Mission 51I (Part 2)

The sheer size of the 15,000-pound (6,800-kg) Leasat-3 satellite is illustrated in this view of James “Ox” van Hoften manhandling it into space on Mission 51I. Photo Credit: NASA

For Dick Covey, the instant Space Shuttle Discovery broke the shackles of Earth on the cusp of daybreak on 27 August 1985 had been a […]

'Winging It': 30 Years Since the Dramatic Rescue of Mission 51I (Part 1)

In a triumphant ending to a triumphant space salvage, James “Ox” van Hoften strikes a Charles Atlas pose on the end of the shuttle’s RMS mechanical arm, seemingly hoisting the world on his shoulders. Photo Credit: NASA

When Discovery touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 9—’Down to a Dance’

Backdropped by the glorious Earth, Challenger drifts serenely with Solar Max secured in her payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

More than 30 years ago, the 13th flight of the shuttle program roared into orbit. Aboard Challenger for Mission 41C were Commander Bob Crippen, Pilot Dick Scobee, and Mission Specialists Terry Hart, […]

Repair and Salvage: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 4)

During his historic untethered EVA with the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) on 7 February 1984, Bruce McCandless ventured as far as 300 feet (90 meters) from Challenger. Photo Credit: NASA

Ironically, the spacecraft from which the most Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) were performed—the space shuttle—was not originally intended to carry the capability for spacewalking at […]

Fixing Solar Max: 30 Years Since Mission 41C (Part 2)

Backdropped by the glorious Earth, Challenger drifts serenely with Solar Max secured in her payload bay. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago today (6 April 1984), the shuttle launched on arguably its most ambitious mission to date: a mission which would demonstrate the reusable orbiter’s capabilities of rendezvous, retrieval, satellite repair, and spacewalking with […]

Fixing Solar Max: 30 Years Since Mission 41C (Part 1)

Thirty years ago this week, Mission 41C put the shuttle’s capabilities to the test. In a single flight, the reusable vehicle demonstrated its capacity to support satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, untethered spacewalking and robotics … and served as a highlight of the ingenuity of the human spirit. Photo Credit: SpaceFacts.de

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