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Space Shuttle

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Tue, April 24 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey in Orbit

When my STS-98 crew launched into orbit on February 7, 2001—the first human space launch of the millennium—I marked the milestone by carrying with me two personal mementos of the landmark Stanly Kubrick science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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2001: A Space Odyssey in Orbit

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Astronaut Thomas D. Jones Holding Copy of 2001 A Space Odyssey During STS-98
Sun, April 15 2018

Making History Aboard Discovery 

Twenty-five years ago today, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, and the crew of the STS-56 Discovery, returned to Earth after a nine-day mission. Ochoa made history as the first Hispanic woman in space.

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Making History Aboard Discovery 

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Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, STS-96 mission specialist
Wed, February 14 2018

Love is in the Air: Great Couples of Aerospace History

Aerospace pioneers make all kinds of new discoveries during their careers—some even find that special someone along the way.

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Willa Brown and Cornelius Coffey
Fri, February 9 2018

Remembering Columbia, Fifteen Years Later

Fifteen years after the Columbia tragedy, Michael D. Leinbach, Space Shuttle Launch Director, and Jonathan H. Ward, space historian, look back at the harrowing process of recovering the spacecraft. 

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Book Cover: Bringing Columbia Home
Wed, February 7 2018

Astronaut Alvin Drew on the Final Days of Discovery

NASA Astronaut and USAF command pilot Alvin Drew shares his reflections on a lifetime of exploring the universe.

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NASA astronaut Alvin Drew, spacesuit fit check
Thu, February 1 2018

A Classroom Copes with the Columbia Disaster

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Columbia disaster.  Every year on this date I think about the crew of the Columbia, my students, and my most difficult day as a teacher. 

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STS-107 Crew of Space Shuttle "Columbia"
Thu, February 1 2018

Reflections on Spaceflight and Memory

For those involved or interested in human spaceflight, the last week of January is a solemn time of remembrance, as we commemorate Apollo 1 and the Space Shuttle missions Challenger and Columbia. How does our Museum deal with the memory of such tragedies? 

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The Space Shuttle Challenger’s first launch, 1983
Fri, January 19 2018

John W. Young, an Astronaut’s Astronaut (1930-2018)

As an astronaut, John Young (1930-2018) was one of a kind. He was the first person to fly in space six times, the first person to circle the Moon alone, the first Space Shuttle mission commander, and the first to command another Space Shuttle mission.

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Astronaut John Young, 1965
Wed, January 10 2018

Remembering Bruce McCandless II

Bruce McCandless II (1937-2017) is immortalized in this iconic photograph of an astronaut flying solo high above Earth. He was the first human being to do a spacewalk without a safety tether linked to a spacecraft.

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Astronaut Bruce McCandless II.
Tue, August 30 2016

1983: First African American in Space

Guion Bluford made history on August 30, 1983 when he became the first African American in space, launching into low Earth orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. He subsequently flew aboard three additional shuttle missions, logging a total of 688 hours in space.

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Guion Bluford

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