Record-Breaker for Women Astronauts: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 2)

For the first time on STS-79, a shuttle crew saw Mir in its complete configuration, with six research and habitation modules. It had been Shannon Lucid’s home for six months and would be John Blaha’s home for the next four. Photo Credit: NASA

A glass half-full, or half-empty, was Bill Readdy’s perspective on the […]

Changing the Guard: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 1)

The STS-79 mission patch, highlighting its original EVA component. Image Credit: NASA

World record holder Shannon Lucid watches the growth of plants in a Russian greenhouse aboard Mir. This photograph was taken in September 1996, shortly after the crew of STS-79, including Lucid’s replacement, John Blaha, arrived to bring her home. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this month, an American national record-breaker circled high above Earth, aboard […]

'Probably Earned My Keep': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 2)

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, the crew of Atlantis delivered into orbit the heaviest scientific payload ever launched at that time by the space shuttle. Commander Steve Nagel, Pilot Ken Cameron, and Mission Specialists Linda […]

'If It Goes Poorly, You Take the Blame': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 1)

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through shuttle Atlantis' aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through Shuttle Atlantis’ aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For a few hours in early April 1991, it seemed that things could not get any worse for NASA. A year earlier, the first […]

Endeavour's Radar Love: 20 Years Since STS-59 (Part 2)

Endeavour rockets into the dawn on 9 April 1994. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, the crew of Endeavour on STS-59 demonstrated that the shuttle program was imbued with “Radar Love,” as they operated the first Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) to acquire unprecedented views of the Home Planet from orbit. For 11 […]

Endeavour's Radar Love: 20 Years Since STS-59 (Part 1)

The Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) payload flew twice in 1994, firstly aboard STS-59 in April and later aboard STS-68 in September-October. The large Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR)-C is clearly visible in the foreground. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, the crew of Endeavour on STS-59 demonstrated that the shuttle program was imbued […]

Of Marriage, Medaka Fish and Multiculturalism: The Legacy of STS-47

Pictured within the spacious interior of the Spacelab-J module, astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis became the first married couple to fly together on a space mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Traditions frequently arise from the most unlikely of places. One tradition which had become entrenched in the Astronaut Office since the early Shuttle era […]