A Flight of Changes: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 2)

Upon touchdown on 7 December 1996, Columbia and her STS-80 crew set an empirical record for the longest single mission of the Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Upon touchdown on 7 December 1996, Columbia and her STS-80 crew set an empirical record for the longest single mission of the Space Shuttle Program. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

When the crew of STS-80—launched 20 years ago, this week—were assigned to their mission in January 1996, theirs was expected to be one […]

Three-Spacecraft Ballet: 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-80 (Part 1)

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Columbia roars to orbit on 19 November 1996, 20 years ago, today. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, today, on 19 November 1996, the longest space shuttle mission in history got underway with the spectacular liftoff of Columbia from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. During almost […]

America's 'Destiny': 15 Years Since the Launch of the US Lab (Part 2)

The Destiny laboratory, pictured in the foreground, following the STS-98 crew's departure. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Destiny laboratory is maneuvered toward its final location at the forward port of the Unity node in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A decade and a half ago, yesterday, on 20 February 2001, the crew of Atlantis glided a textbook landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., wrapping up a […]

America's 'Destiny': 15 Years Since the Launch of the US Lab (Part 1)

The Destiny laboratory is maneuvered towards its final location at the forward port of the Unity node in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Fifteen years ago, this month, Atlantis became the first member of the space shuttle fleet to complete a third visit to the International Space Station (ISS). Her legacy on STS-98 was to install the heart of the U.S. Orbital Segment (USOS). Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, today, on 20 February 2001, Space Shuttle […]

'Man of Destiny': Astronaut Tom Jones Turns 60 Today

Tom Jones waves during his first career EVAs on STS-98, the mission which installed the U.S. Destiny laboratory onto the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tom Jones—a man who did, then didn’t, and then did again, embark on the hundredth spacewalk in U.S. history—turns 60 today (Thursday, 22 […]

'Dramatic, Down-the-Throat View': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 2)

The vast plume of Klyuchevskaya Sopka, in Kamchatka, which erupted shortly after STS-68 reached orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 30 September 1994, the crew of Shuttle Endeavour rocketed into orbit—six weeks later than originally planned—on an 11-day mission to support the second Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). As described in yesterday’s AmericaSpace […]

'Engines in Post-Shutdown Standby': 20 Years Since STS-68 (Part 1)

For the second time in less than six months, the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) rode Endeavour into orbit in September-October 1994. However, the launch of STS-68 was delayed extensively, following the shuttle program’s last Redundant Set Launch Sequencer (RSLS) abort. Photo Credit: NASA

One day in the summer of 1993, astronaut Tom Jones was […]

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 […]

'I Wouldn’t Call it Fear': The Shuttle Launch Pad Aborts (Part 2)

The closest the shuttle ever came to a launch at the time of abort was T-1.9 seconds, on 18 August 1994. So close was the shuttle to launch, the on-board General Purpose Computers had already moded to their 102 ascent software configuration at the time of the abort. Photo Credit: NASA

In the pre-dawn […]