'Without Travel Orders': 20 Years Since the Marathon Flight of STS-73 (Part 2)

Clad in their respective “red” and “blue” shirts, to denote their membership of the 12-hour Red and Blue Teams, the STS-73 crew pose for an in-flight portrait in the Spacelab module. Front row (from left) are Kathy Thornton, Mike Lopez-Alegria, and Ken Bowersox, with Catherine “Cady” Coleman and Fred Leslie in the middle row, […]

'Not For Geeks': 20 Years Since the Marathon Mission of STS-73 (Part 1)

With her port-side payload bay door positioned at 62-degrees-open, in order to guard against Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) impacts in a gravity gradient attitude, Columbia sails through her long-delayed 18th mission in October-November 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

The “geek” has long been recognized as an eccentric, non-mainstream individual, usually imbued with a peculiar or […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 3—’Repackage Our Margin’

Astronaut Story Musgrave is positioned to replace components at the end of Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm on STS-61 in December 1993. Photo Credit: NASA

More than two decades have passed since one of the most spectacular EVA missions in U.S. history: the long-awaited first servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 7—’We've Got a Satellite!’

With the possible exception of Columbia and the very first space shuttle mission, few orbiters had as dramatic and exciting a maiden voyage as Endeavour. On STS-49, she provided a reliable stage for the longest EVA in history and the first three-man EVA in history. Photo Credit: NASA

“Ready. Ready. Grab!”

The words of […]

'Big Mental Switch': Remembering Shuttle Endeavour's Maiden Voyage (Part 2)

With the possible exception of Columbia and the very first space shuttle mission, few orbiters had as dramatic and exciting a maiden voyage as Endeavour. On STS-49, she provided a reliable stage for the longest EVA in history and the first three-man EVA in history. Despite the trials and tribulations of the flight, she […]

'Where We Either Succeeded or Failed': Remembering Shuttle Endeavour's Maiden Voyage (Part 1)

In the first, and so far only, three-person EVA, astronauts Rick Hieb, Tom Akers and Pierre Thuot manhandle Intelsat 603 into Endeavour’s payload bay for the attachment of a new rocket motor. Photo Credit: NASA

“Ready. Ready. Grab!”

The words of Rick Hieb echoed through the silent Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson […]

Historic Satellite Retrieved by Three-Person Shuttle Spacewalk Ends its Life, According to Intelsat

Its new booster securely fitted, Intelsat 603 drifts away from Endeavour’s payload bay. After insertion into geosynchronous orbit, the satellite was instrumental in providing television coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost a quarter-century since its launch, and more than two decades since shuttle astronauts triumphantly snatched it from an unusable […]

Shuttle on the Night Shift: 25 Years Since STS-33

STS-33 was the first nocturnal shuttle launch and landing of the post-Challenger era; entirely appropriate, perhaps, in light of the shroud of darkness which covered its primary payload. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, in November 1989, the shuttle embarked on its first launch and landing in the hours of darkness since […]

‘A Big Mental Switch’: The Maiden Voyage of Endeavour (Part 2)

Two decades have passed since Endeavour’s maiden voyage; a voyage which set record after record in terms of EVA, accomplishment and astronaut endurance, including the first (and so far only) three-person spacewalk. She continued to set records for the rest of her operational life. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-two years ago, on 7 May 1992, the […]

'A Mission We Wanted to Do': The Maiden Voyage of Endeavour (Part 1)

With the possible exception of Columbia and the very first space shuttle mission, few orbiters had as dramatic and exciting a maiden voyage as Endeavour. On STS-49, she provided a reliable stage for the longest EVA in history and the first three-man EVA in history. Despite the trials and tribulations of the flight, she […]