Halcyon Days: 30 Years Since the Rescue of Westar and Palapa (Part 1)

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a “For Sale” sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

Early in February 1984, astronaut Joe Allen was at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, watching his former crewmate Vance […]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 2)

The SPARTAN-201 science satellite, pictured during its period of free flight on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle’s capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and […]

Dog Names, Dog Tags, Dog Bowls: The 11 Barking Days of STS-69 (Part 1)

Mike Gernhardt, pictured during his EVA on STS-69. Photo Credit: NASA

Nineteen years ago, last week, the “Dogs of War” barked, woofed, and yelped their way through a remarkable mission which put virtually all of the space shuttle capabilities—satellite deployment and retrieval, rendezvous and proximity operations, spacewalking, and science—to the test. During STS-69 […]

Mission to Unveil Earth's Twisted Sister: 25 Years Since STS-30 (Part 2)

Atlantis roars into orbit on her fourth mission to deploy NASA’s Magellan spacecraft on a 15-month voyage to Venus. Photo Credit: NASA, via SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago today, on 4 May 1989, Shuttle Atlantis thundered into orbit on a remarkable mission which would unveil the planet Venus—nicknamed Earth’s “twisted sister”—in a wholly new […]

Dale Gardner, MMU Spacewalker, Dies Aged 65

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a “For Sale” sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. The triumphant Mission 51A would cement the shuttle’s credentials as infallible … but it was an infallibility which would usher in a mistaken sense […]

“It’ll Be A Miracle”: The Rescue of Palapa and Westar (Part 2)

Secured into the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU), and with the stinger positioned ahead of him, Dale Gardner enters the shadow of Westar. Minutes after this photograph – one of the most spectacular of 1984 – was taken, Gardner announced success with the capture of 51A’s second satellite. Photo Credit: NASA

By the summer […]

“It’ll Be A Miracle”: The Rescue of Palapa and Westar (Part 1)

Joe Allen (right, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Dale Gardner celebrate their success with a ‘For Sale’ sign, displayed high above Westar and Earth. The triumphant Mission 51A would cement the Shuttle’s credentials as infallible…but it was an infallibility which would usher in a mistaken sense of complacency. […]