'Quite a Feeling of Being Alone': 25 Years Since Endeavour's Vanilla-to-Chocolate STS-54 Mission

The base of the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, departs Endeavour on 13 January 1993. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, this week, the crew of STS-54 settled into orbit for one of the shortest shuttle missions of the decade, tasked with deploying the […]

Malarkey Milkshakes: 25 Years Since STS-39 (Part 2)

After almost two months of delays, Discovery roars into orbit on 28 April 1991, 25 years ago, this week. Her STS-39 mission marked the longest shuttle flight ever conducted for the Department of Defense. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty-five years ago, next week, one of the most complex space shuttle missions […]

'What Did You Tell My Wife?': 25 Years Since STS-39 (Part 1)

The Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS), attached to a deployable Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), was one of the principal payloads aboard STS-39. The eight-day flight was the longest shuttle mission ever conducted in support of the Department of Defense. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, the loss of Challenger, on […]

The 'MAHRSI Football' and Shuttle-Mir: 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 2)

Beautiful view of the ATLAS-3 instruments aboard Atlantis’ payload bay during STS-66. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest with the return to flight of Shuttle Atlantis, following a lengthy period of refurbishment. Since her STS-46 mission in July 1992, she had undergone many modifications […]

'Back to the Skies': 20 Years Since Atlantis' Return to Space (Part 1)

STS-66 signed crew portrait, sent to the author by Commander Don McMonagle (seated at right). He was joined on the crew by (from left) Jean-Francois Clervoy, Scott Parazynski, Curt Brown, Joe Tanner and Ellen Ochoa. Photo Credit: NASA/Ben Evans personal collection

Twenty years ago, this week, the Space Station era began in earnest […]

'Vanilla to Chocolate': The Changing Mission of STS-54

The American eagle delivers a fifth star, representing the fifth operational Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), in the STS-54 crew patch. Image Credit: NASA

When the STS-54 shuttle crew released their official crew patch in the summer of 1992, they paid tribute to two important payloads aboard their mission. The first was […]