'A Mirror-Image Flight': 20 Years Since Columbia's Landing-to-Launch Record (Part 2)

With the reprioritization of mission objectives, the around-the-clock Spacelab operations in the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) changed dramatically. The astronauts even worked by torchlight at times to maintain power levels below critical levels. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Columbia rocketed into orbit for what should have been an ambitious […]

'Once-In-A-Career Opportunity': 20 Years Since Columbia's Landing-to-Launch Record (Part 1)

After the shortest operational flight in the Space Shuttle Program, Columbia touches down at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on 8 April 1997. Her STS-83 mission had lasted just a few minutes shy of four full days in space. Photo Credit: NASA

Eighty-four days. A mere 12 weeks on Earth, 84 days […]

'Ice Cream Sandwiches': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 2)

The orange-colored Docking Module (DM) is clearly visible at the extreme end of the Kristall module in this view of Mir, as seen by the departing crew of STS-74. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For 15 years, Americans and Russians have lived together, on a continuous basis, aboard the International Space Station (ISS). […]

'A Real Thrill': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 1)

Becoming the first Canadian to operate the shuttle’s Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS), Chris Hadfield installs the Docking Module (DM) atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS), ahead of the shuttle’s second docking mission to Mir, 20 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The second is rarely remembered in the same […]

Working as a Team: Columbia’s Final Flight (Part 2)

Columbia roars into orbit for the 28th and final time on 16 January 2003. Photo Credit: NASA

“We’ve had a Go for Auto Sequence Start. Columbia’s on-board computers have primary control of all the vehicle’s critical functions … ”

More than two decades since her first flight, Columbia, the oldest orbiter in NASA’s fleet […]