'Just Unreal What It Had Done': 35 Years Since Columbia's Third Orbital Mission (Part 2)

Like a flying brick, Columbia descends towards White Sands on 30 March 1982. This view was acquired from one of the NASA T-38 jets, flying chase that morning. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years ago, in the final week of March 1982, Commander Jack Lousma and Pilot Gordon Fullerton flew Space Shuttle Columbia on her […]

'Not a Good Place to Land': 35 Years Since Columbia's Third Orbital Mission (Part 1)

Columbia touches down at the mountain-ringed White Sands site in New Mexico on 30 March 1982. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost four decades ago, and two years ahead of the first Space Shuttle launch, NASA took the unusual step of selecting a great white blotch of compacted salt and gypsum in New Mexico’s Tularosa Valley […]

Hank Hartsfield, Shuttle Discovery's First Commander, Dies Aged 80

Hank Hartsfield (left), pictured with crewmate Ken Mattingly, shortly before the launch of STS-4 in June 1982. Photo Credit: NASA

Former NASA astronaut Hank Hartsfield, a veteran of three shuttle missions in the early 1980s—including command of the maiden voyage of the fleet leader, Discovery—passed away earlier today (Thursday, 17 July), reportedly due to […]

Astronaut at the Edge: The Life and Legacy of Gordon Fullerton

Space shuttle astronaut Gordon Fullerton has passed away. Photo Credit: NASA

Yesterday’s passing of Gordon Fullerton, aged 76, was not unexpected, for he had suffered a debilitating stroke three years ago and his health had been particularly fragile in recent weeks. However, the loss of a man who had literally made aviation his life […]

Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton, 1936–2013

Space shuttle astronaut Gordon Fullerton has passed away. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Charles Gordon Fullerton passed away today, Wednesday, Aug. 21, at age 76. Colonel Fullerton was known for his career pioneering the space shuttle as one of its first test pilots, as well as his later career as a research pilot.

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'A Kind of Wheelie': The Desert Landing of STS-3

Flanked by two NASA T-38 jets, flying chase, Columbia touches down in the mountain-ringed expanse of White Sands Missile Range on 30 March 1982. Photo Credit: NASA

More than three decades ago—and two full years ahead of the first shuttle launch—NASA took the unusual step of picking a great white blotch of compacted salt […]