'Nothing But the Highest': 25 Years Since Shuttle Columbia's Third-Time-Lucky Launch to Orbit

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

It took three tries to get STS-58 off the ground, 25 years ago, this month.

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'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 […]

A Controversial Mission: 20 Years Since STS-58 (Part 2)

The Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS)-2 mission in late 1993 provided a platform for dozens of medical and biological investigations, the data from which proved critical for future expeditions to Mir and the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago this week, one of the most complex and controversial space shuttle flights in […]

A Controversial Mission: 20 Years Since STS-58 (Part 1)

Columbia begins her 14-day mission on 18 October 1993. 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. “Just hang in there.”

“Nice try,” replied STS-58 Commander John Blaha, as he and his six crewmates prepared to […]