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Astronaut Mae Jemison: Flew on Space Shuttle and The Starship Enterprise

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Astronaut Mae Jemison has flown in space on both the NASA Space Shuttle and on the Starship Enterprise. And, along the way, she became the first female African American astronaut to travel into orbit.

Anna Fisher: Astronaut, Physician (and Rock Band Icon?)

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Anna Fisher is an emergency physician, a Shuttle flight veteran, and the longest serving American astronaut. And one photo of her has gone viral!

Astronaut Rhea Seddon: The First Female Surgeon In Space

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On Rhea Seddon's Space Shuttle flights her training as a medical doctor was pivotal.

Eileen Collins: The First Woman Space Shuttle Commander

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With the launch of Columbia on July 23, 1999, Eileen Collins became the first woman astronaut assigned Commander of a Space Shuttle mission.

Sally Ride: First American Woman In Space

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Sally Ride was one of the first six women NASA astronauts in 1978. All six made it into space.

Did Star Trek Get It Right?: USS Enterprise vs. International Space...

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"These are the voyages". Just how correct is Star Trek's "future" so far?

Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane on “The Amazing Flight Software People”

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Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane has some thoughts about the IBM team who built the Shuttle onboard flight software.

Space Shuttle First Flights: The Amazing Flight Software People

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The people who designed, tested and supported the Space Shuttle Flight Software were the most exceptional technical team I’ve encountered.

Space Shuttle First Flights: An Era Ends, A New Age Begins

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Space Shuttle is ended. The future of near-earth manned spaceflight is now in the hands of private industry. As I believe it should be.

Space Shuttle First Flights: The Legacy of Space Shuttle

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Was Space Shuttle worth it? The International Space Station. The Hubble Space Telescope. How do you set a value on something that humans had only dreamed about?

Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane Describes Orbiter Damage on STS-27 (Atlantis 1988)...

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Guest blogger veteran Shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane weighs in on the severe impact damage to Atlantis on his own 1988 flight (STS-27) and to Columbia's disastrous flight in 2003 (STS-107)

Space Shuttle First Flights: Columbia (February 3, 2003)

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As with Apollo 13, NASA "can do amazing things when they've got their back against the wall". But for Space Shuttle Columbia they didn't try.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Challenger (“Nature Cannot Be Fooled”)

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Richard Feynman's question about Space Shuttle Challenger was, "What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in the machinery?"

Space Shuttle First Flights: Challenger (January 28,1986)

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On the eve of the Space Shuttle Challenger launch the Morton Thiokol engineering team protested the decision to launch. They were overridden by NASA

Space Shuttle First Flights: Mike Mullane (Don’t Eat Yellow Snow)

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Space Shuttle Discovery's flight in 1984 dumped an unexpected "payload" in orbit.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Launch Of Discovery (STS-41D): August 1984

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After Space Shuttle Discovery recovered from a dangerous launch abort in June 1984, the second try was flawless and spectacular.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Discovery Launch Abort (June 1984)

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The maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled for June 25, 1984. The first-ever main engine shutdown launch abort scared the crap out of us.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Judy Resnik (“Best Wishes”)

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Mike Mullane offered me a personal memento from Judy from their first Space Shuttle flight. I still have it.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Mike Mullane (“No Place for Civilians”)

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Astronaut Mike Mullane knew Shuttle was an experimental spaceship sitting atop highly volatile explosives. When NASA allowed civilians to ride they were implying it was safe when it was not. Unfortunately, he was right.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Engineering the Onboard Software

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By comparison to the Space Shuttle, Apollo was a Model-T Ford - no set of computer-controlled spaceship operations like this had ever been attempted. Nothing that got us to the Moon could be reused here, and so it was discarded.

Space Shuttle First Flights: “Fly-by-Wire”

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During high speed atmospheric flight, the extreme forces buffeting the Space Shuttle produced abrupt, violent oscillations that, left unattended, would cause it to spiral out of control. No human was capable of flying the Shuttle unassisted.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Why Shuttle Has Wings

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An Air Force requirement demanded wings for the Space Shuttle, and that drove everything else about its design. Yet they were never used for that purpose.

Space Shuttle First Flights: “Space Transportation System”

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In spite of having four separate sets of rocket engines, for the entire flight through the atmosphere and landing, the Shuttle Orbiter was simply an unpowered glider.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Early Shuttle Designs

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The Space Shuttle was immensely different and more complex, in both concept and design, from anything attempted on Apollo.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Shuttle and the X-15

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In 1959, U.S. astronauts piloted an airplane-shaped rocket ship into space, and then flew nearly 200 missions, twenty years before the first Space Shuttle ever left the ground.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Where to Launch Shuttle?

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The Space Shuttle launch site could have been Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Space Shuttle First Flights: STS-135 (End of An Era)

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Now that the era of Space Shuttle has passed, was it all worth it? While the Apollo Program was the great adventure of our age, what exactly did this stepchild do to earn its keep?