'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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Stretching the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the EDO Decision

Columbia is approached by servicing vehicles on the runway on 7 December 1996, after concluding STS-80, the shuttle program’s longest Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, NASA and Rockwell International reached a historic agreement which would, both figuratively and literally, “extend” the shuttle and its myriad capabilities […]

'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 […]

Astronauts Shannon Lucid and Jerry Ross to Be Honored With Hall of Fame Induction

Astronauts Jerry Ross and Dr. Shannon Lucid will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 3. Image Credit: The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation website

A Shuttle-Mir veteran and a spacewalking virtuoso will join the ranks of other spaceflight legends on the afternoon of Saturday, May 3, at the Kennedy Space Center […]

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 […]