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Top 10 Most Memorable Space Shuttle Missions

Take a Look at the Top 10 Most Memorable Space Shuttle Missions

The Space Shuttle program is one of the major achievements of NASA that has chalked up new heights in the field of space exploration since its inception in April 1981. It has successfully completed 135 missions (including a disaster) before retiring in 2011.

1. STS-1 (April 12-14, 1981)

The first mission of the Space Shuttle program STS-1 was launched on April 12, 1981. It was piloted by astronauts John W. Young (commander) and Robert L. Crippen (pilot).

2. STS-31 (April 24-29, 1990)

The STS-31 mission launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit, marking a significant breakthrough in exploring the universe.

3. STS-107 (January 16-February 1, 2003) – Columbia disaster

The fated STS-107 mission was completed without any hindrance, but after the shuttle’s re-entry on February 1, it ultimately resulted in the disastrous crash that killed all seven crew members onboard.

4. STS-41-B (Feb 3-11, 1984)

The STS-41B mission saw NASA conduct its first unscheduled EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) when astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first astronaut to fly solo without the aid of a tether.

5. STS-61B (Nov 27-December 3, 1985)

Astronauts took the first shuttle vacation during STS-61B, inviting teachers, journalists and senators as guests on board. The third untethered spacewalk was also performed by Bruce McCandless during this mission.

6. STS-1-40 (June 5-13, 1983)

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on the STS-1-40 mission. She completed 128 revolutions around the Earth in the celebrated Challenger crash in 1986, becoming justly remembered for her contribution to space exploration.

7. STS-121 (July 4-17, 2006)

The STS-121 mission led “Return to Flight” by NASA, which was significant in reigniting interest in space among the public post the catastrophic Columbia incident. For the mission, NASA manned the shuttle Aurora, and successfully completed during this period with close rendezvous in space.

8. STS-72 (January 11-20, 1996)

The STS-72 mission was also marked with breakthroughs, as astronauts Nelson (with Boland on this mission) performed the first-ever departure-navigation -encounter in the regime of a free-flying object again. Now, technology marked the classic “early warning scorecard” for navigating and controlling smaller space stations.

9. STS-51L (January 28, 1986) – Challenger disaster

The STS-51L mission proved catastrophic as on the date of its launch, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded within seconds into its skies. Kill all seven aircraft personnel, it pulled NASA urgently to reconsider the future of such missions.

10. STS-135 (July 8-21, 2011)

The mission STS-135 ends with closing the effective space shuttle program of NASA system runs that began in 1981. Shuttle Atlantis manned by Chris Ferguson takes on board three others, after the successful orbital payload release functions and ended with the intended decision trip with ease.

The Final Frontier

The Space Shuttle program has founded new ways of space exploration The previously proved fictional world of science fiction imbibed the world with an example of mankind’s greatest endeavors. These missions to space and back are memorable events that have significantly contributed towards space research and our understanding of the universe. In the future, we may hail many more missions that will further enhance our knowledge and curiosity of our universe exploration.

About Leif Larsen

Join Leif Larsen, our science blogger extraordinaire, on a journey of discovery through the fascinating worlds of climate change, earth science, energy, environment, and space exploration. With a wealth of knowledge and a passion for exploring the mysteries of the universe, Leif delivers insightful and thought-provoking posts that offer a unique perspective on the latest developments in the world of science. Read him to unlock the secrets of the natural world, from the deepest oceans to the furthest reaches of the cosmos!

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