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Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 26 Jul 14 22:51:00 GMT

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Dale Gardner, MMU Spacewalker, Dies Aged 65

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a “For Sale” sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. The triumphant Mission 51A would cement the shuttle’s credentials as infallible … but it was an infallibility which would usher in a mistaken sense of [...]

'Crankin’ APUs': Mission 51I and NASA’s ‘Can-Do’ Spirit

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 Space Shuttle Discovery touched down in Florida on 19 April 1985—suffering seized brakes and enduring a [...]

Retro Space Images: Lunar Rover Simulations

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Ground Based Roving: Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin spend time at the Lunar Rover simulator located in the Crew Training Building at Kennedy Space Center. Scott and Irwin are assisted by support crew astronaut Joe Allen, who would also serve as CAPCOM during [...]

“It’ll Be A Miracle”: The Rescue of Palapa and Westar (Part 2)

Secured into the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU), and with the stinger positioned ahead of him, Dale Gardner enters the shadow of Westar. Minutes after this photograph – one of the most spectacular of 1984 – was taken, Gardner announced success with the capture of 51A’s second satellite. Photo Credit: NASA

By the summer of [...]

“It’ll Be A Miracle”: The Rescue of Palapa and Westar (Part 1)

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a ‘For Sale’ sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. The triumphant Mission 51A would cement the Shuttle’s credentials as infallible…but it was an infallibility which would usher in a mistaken sense of complacency. The [...]

An ‘Operational’ Machine? Thirty Years Since STS-5 (Part 2)

With the completion of STS-5, NASA was able to publicly declare the Shuttle ‘operational’ for commercial and scientific missions. However, behind the scenes, its flaws were many and those flaws would grow and coalesce, producing the managerial, technical and cultural ingredients for disaster in January 1986. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, [...]

An ‘Operational’ Machine? Thirty Years Since STS-5 (Part 1)

STS-5 was the first ‘commercial’ Shuttle mission and featured the deployment of two telecommunications satellites – one for Satellite Business Systems and another for Telesat Canada – but the true nature of the reusable spacecraft as an operational vehicle remained inherently dangerous. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this week, the Space Shuttle completed [...]