'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 […]

'Since the Earth Cooled': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-67 (Part 2)

Endeavour touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on 18 March 1995, after almost 17 days in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Records are there to be broken, and in March 1995—20 years ago, this week—the crew of Endeavour was midway through what turned out to be the longest flight in shuttle program history […]

'Instant Daylight': 20 Years Since the Record-Setting Mission of STS-67 (Part 1)

Commander Steve Oswald leads the STS-67 crew out of the Operations and Checkout Building on the late evening of 1 March 1995, bound for a liftoff in the small hours of the following morning. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, seven astronauts, including four professional astronomers, were midway through what turned out […]

International Year, International Mission: The Changing Fortunes of STS-42

STS-42 mission brochure, personally signed to me by Commander Ron Grabe. I received this brochure in January 1992 – only days before the mission was launched – and for a 15-year-old space enthusiast it was a priceless treasure. Image Credit: Ben Evans personal collection

One summer evening, early in August 1492 three ships – […]