'The Lord Protected Grandpa': 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 2)

During the majority of the seven-day mission, Challenger operated in a gravity gradient orientation, with her vertical stabilizer directed Earthward and her starboard wing pointing in the direction of travel. Image Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, a seven-man crew with a combined age of 340 years rocketed into […]

A Long Wait for Space: 30 Years Since Mission 51B (Part 1)

Challenger roars into orbit on 29 April 1985. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, Challenger was circling the Earth on the first dedicated Spacelab science flight of the shuttle era. For seven days, the crew of Mission 51B—Commander Bob Overmyer, Pilot Fred Gregory, Mission Specialists Don Lind, Norm […]

A Sick Crew and A Sick Ship: The Trials of Skylab 3 (Part 4)

Skylab 3 and astronauts Al Bean, Owen Garriott, and Jack Lousma returned safely to Earth on 25 September 1973, after 59 days in orbit. Yet for the first quarter of their mission, the exact duration of their flight remained open to question. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this summer, America’s first space […]

A Sick Crew and A Sick Ship: The Trials of Skylab 3 (Part 3)

Pictured during the rendezvous procedure, this view clearly shows Skylab’s multiple docking adapter, equipped with twin ports to support a visiting craft and a possible rescue craft. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this summer, America’s first space station—Skylab—was boosted into orbit atop the last in a generation of mighty Saturn V rockets. […]

'Nostalgia for an Age Yet to Come': Reflections on Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's Skylab 40th Anniversary Celebration

This weekend, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation remembered the United States’ first space station—Skylab. Photo Credit: NASA

In an episode of Mad Men entitled “The Wheel,” the show’s protagonist, Don Draper, intoned while pitching an ad campaign for a Kodak Carousel slide projector, “Nostalgia—it’s delicate, but potent … Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain […]

Launch Minus Nine Days: The Space Rescue That Never Was

Impressive view of the Apollo command and service modules docked to Skylab. Two of the four ‘quads’ of manoeuvring thrusters are clearly visible, spaced at 90-degree intervals around the circumference of the service module. On Skylab 3, the failure of two of these sets of quads almost led to the implementation of the […]