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 […]

'What a Lucky Person I Am': 25 Years Since STS-43 (Part 2)

The TDRS-E spacecraft departs Atlantis' payload bay on 2 August 1991. STS-43 was the only occasion that a TDRS was deployed from Atlantis. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The STS-43 consisted of (from left) David Low, Shannon Lucid, Jim Adamson, John Blaha, and Mike Baker. Theirs was the fifth-longest shuttle mission in history at the time. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century has now passed since five astronauts roared into orbit to complete the fifth-longest space shuttle mission at that […]

'Putting Your Thinking Hat On': 25 Years Since STS-43 (Part 1)

The STS-43 patch, emblazoned with the surnames of the five crew members. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

 

Atlantis roars into the late morning Florida sky on 2 August 1991, 25 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this month, Space Shuttle Atlantis flew a mission which harked back to the past and set in place a cornerstone to enable the exploration of the future. […]

'No Reason For the People Inside to Starve': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 2)

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim […]

'Those Things Don't Happen By Accident': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 1)

STS-76 marked the fourth shuttle to rendezvous with Mir, and the third to dock. It also marked the first shuttle flight to land with fewer crew members than it launched with. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

STS-76 was the fourth shuttle mission to rendezvous, and the third to dock, with Russia’s Mir space station. It also marked the first shuttle mission to deliver a long-duration crew member and return to Earth with a smaller crew than that with which it launched. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, […]

'The Sultans of Space': 30 Years Since the Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 2)

Pictured on Discovery’s aft flight deck, the STS-51G crew featured three discrete sovereign nations for the first time in shuttle history. Front row, from left, are John Creighton, Shannon Lucid, and Dan Brandenstein, with Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Steve Nagel, John Fabian, and Patrick Baudry in the background. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, on […]

'The Sultans of Space': 30 Years Since the Multi-Cultural Mission of STS-51G (Part 1)

By the end of his seven days in space, Sultan Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had given up looking for his own country, or even his own continent, and came to realize that all humans belonged to just “One World.” It is a message which continues to resonate today. Photo Credit: NASA

Three decades ago, on 17 […]

'The Choreography Was Incredible': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit at 10:53 a.m. EST on 18 October 1993, 21 years ago yesterday. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-one years ago, yesterday, on 18 October 1993, the longest flight ever attempted in shuttle history—the 14-day STS-58 mission, carrying the second Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-2) research payload—was launched into orbit. Aboard Columbia were astronauts […]

'A Unique Opportunity': 21 Years Since the Controversial Mission of STS-58 (Part 1)

Glorious view of the Home Planet from STS-58, with the SLS-2 Spacelab module clearly visible in Columbia’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

“John, we’re going to fly you one of these days,” Launch Director Bob Sieck called over the communications loop on 15 October 1993. The disappointment of another scrubbed launch attempt was evident […]