'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 […]

'One Cardinal Rule': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's Home-Watching Mission (Part 2)

Atlantis lands in Florida at the end of STS-45. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this week, seven individuals from three sovereign nations—five Americans, the first Belgian citizen to enter space and a British-born astronaut—orbited Earth aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. Their STS-45 mission carried a battery of experiments in the payload […]

'From the Most Violent Place': 25 Years Since the Shuttle's Home-Watching Mission (Part 1)

Flown 25 years ago, in March 1992, ATLAS-1 represented the first Space Shuttle payload fully dedicated to exploring the relationship between the Earth’s atmosphere and its interaction with the Sun. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, Space Shuttle Atlantis roared into orbit on a mission intensely focused on Planet Earth; a mission […]

'In A Heartbeat': 25 Years Since STS-42 Inaugurated International Space Year (Part 2)

Discovery spears for orbit on 22 January 1992, after an hour-long delay, caused by a fuel cell anomaly. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this month, a space mission rooted in disappointment and tragedy finally took flight. Aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, astronauts from the United States, Germany, and Canada embarked on […]

'Traumatic Decisions': 25 Years Since STS-42 Inaugurated International Space Year (Part 1)

The tunnel adaptor for the IML-1 Spacelab module is prepared for installation in the Orbiter Processing Facility. STS-42 was the first human launch of International Space Year 1992. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years have now passed since the International Space Year (ISY) in 1992, during which 29 national space agencies and 10 international organizations […]

'Short-Lived Record': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-78 (Part 2)

 

Launched 20 years ago, this week, STS-78 still holds the record for the shortest interval between the announcement and execution of a Spacelab mission. It was designed to bridge the gulf between the twilight of the Spacelab era and the dawn of a long-duration research capability aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Photo […]

'Man, I'm Here': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-78 (Part 1)

Created as a “bridge” between the final Spacelab flights and the beginning of research aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) offered a nod to past and future. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, this week, International Space Station (ISS) research began in earnest, even though […]

One Man and His Catheter: 25 Years Since the Shuttle's First Life Sciences Mission (Part 2)

Having ridden to orbit wearing a heart catheter, Drew Gaffney (left) offers his arm to Jim Bagian and Millie Hughes-Fulford for one of many blood draws. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, one of the most complex scientific research missions ever undertaken rocketed into orbit aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. […]

'To Work Co-operatively': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 4)

Mir Commander Vladimir Dezhurov (left) and STS-71 Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson shake hands after hatch opening on 29 June 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

Two decades have passed, this week, since one of the most remarkable instances of international co-operation ever seen in human history. For 10 days, between 27 June and 7 July 1995, […]

'To Work Co-operatively': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 3)

Russia’s space station Mir, as pictured by the crew of STS-71. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, today, on 27 June 1995, a new era began. Space Shuttle Atlantis rocketed into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, as she had done 13 times previously, over the course of almost a full […]