A History of the Space Shuttle Programs
October 25, 2011 Leave a comment
I think it is important for us to establish a little background to the NASA space shuttle programs before beginning a discussion about their termination. I will present the shuttle missions chronologically by year and provide mission summaries for some of the missions I believe to be most important. I suggest reading the information provided by the links to understand the other missions that I don’t describe. This post is going to be a little lengthy, but bear with me because after reading this we will be a little more educated.
Space shuttle launches began in 1981 and were recently ended this year. That is 30 years of successful travel in space via space shuttles.
- 1981: STS-2, STS-1
- 1982: STS-5– The STS-5 mission was the first shuttle operational mission. It deployed two commercial communications satellites (ANIK C-3 for TELESAT Canada and SitS-C for Satellite Business Systems)., STS-4– This mission was the final space transportation system research and development flight. It was the first commercial experiment involving the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System, the Monodisperse Latex Reactor, and the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor., STS-3
- 1983: STS-9, STS-8, STS-7, STS-6
- 1984: STS-51A, STS-41G, STS-41D, STS-41C, STS-41B
- 1985: STS-61B, STS-61A, STS-51J, STS-51I, STS-51F, STS-51G, STS-51B, STS-51D, STS-51C
- 1986: STS-51L, STS-61C
- 1988: STS-27, STS-26
- 1989: STS-33, STS-34, STS-28, STS-30, STS-29
- 1990: STS-35, STS-38, STS-41, STS-31, STS-36, STS-32
- 1991: STS-44, STS-48, STS-43, STS-40, STS-39, STS-37
- 1992: STS-53, STS-52, STS-47, STS-46, STS-50, STS-49, STS-45, STS-42– This mission was the first to experiment on the human nervous system’s adaptation to low gravity and the effects of microgravity on other life forms. The experiment took place in the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 and used the pressurized Spacelab module.
- 1993: STS-61, STS-58, STS-51, STS-57, STS-55, STS-56, STS-54
- 1994: STS-66, STS-68, STS-64, STS-65, STS-59, STS-62, STS-60
- 1995: STS-74, STS-73, STS-69, STS-70, STS-71, STS-67, STS-63
- 1996: STS-80, STS-79, STS-78, STS-77, STS-76, STS-75, STS-72
- 1997: STS-87, STS-86, STS-85, STS-94, STS-84, STS-83, STS-82, STS-81
- 1998: STS-88, STS-95, STS-91, STS-90, STS-89
- 1999: STS-103, STS-93, STS-96
- 2000: STS-97, STS-92, STS-106, STS-101, STS-99
- 2001: STS-108, STS-105, STS-104, STS-100, STS-102, STS-98
- 2002: STS-113, STS-112, STS-111, STS-110, STS-109
- 2003: STS-107
- 2005: STS-114– This was the first return to flight mission since the tragedy of Columbia in Feb of 2003. Modifications and advancements were made to the safety components of the space shuttle. The space shuttle was docked at a space station and three spacewalks were conducted by the crew: EVA No. 1 (6 hours and 50 minutes on 30 Jul 2005), EVA No. 2 (7 hours and 14 minutes on 01 Aug 2005), and EVA No. 3 (6 hours and 1 minute on 03 Aug 2005).
- 2006: STS-116, STS-115, STS-121
- 2007: STS-120, STS-118, STS-117
- 2008: STS-126, STS-124, STS-123, STS-122
- 2009: STS-129, STS-128, STS-127, STS-125, STS-119
- 2010: STS-132, STS-131, STS-130
- 2011: STS-135– This was the final mission for the space shuttle Atlantis and the final space shuttle mission. It headed towards the International Space Station to deliver a large amount of supplies and parts to the space station. The space shuttle delivered a total of 11600 pounds of supplies for the space station and picked up 5700 pounds of equipment and discards no longer needed on the station., STS-134– The STS-134 mission was the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour. Its last mission brought the shuttle to the International Space Station, where it delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 and critical supplies, including two communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional parts for the Dextre robot., STS-133