NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The Skylab space station was launched on a modified Saturn V rocket May 14, 1973. The Saturn V was a kind of rocket called a Heavy Lift Vehicle. Skylab eventually disintegrated in 1979.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Skylab space station in orbit over a cloud-covered Earth, Feb. 8, 1974. Skylab was America's first space station and orbital science and engineering laboratory. The station was launched into Earth orbit by a Saturn V rocket May 14, 1973.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Skylab 3 astronaut Owen Garriott space-walks near the Apollo Telescope Mount on the space station in 1973. He had just deployed an experiment designed to collect interplanetary dust particles and study their effects.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The first Skylab crew enjoys a meal in space. One of Skylab's most important functions was to study the feasibility of long-duration space missions. As a result, the ongoing activity of astronauts just going about their daily lives in orbit was one of the greatest of all the scientific experiments aboard the station.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Skylab 4 commander Gerald Carr demonstrates weight training in zero gravity as he balances fellow astronaut William Pogue, the mission's pilot, upside down on his finger. Skylab was America's first space station and orbital science and engineering laboratory. Three crews visited the station, with their missions lasting 28, 59 and 84 days.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    A view of the Russian Space Station Mir July 3, 1993. After Skylab, the Mir Space Station, which launched Feb. 20, 1986, hosted international scientists and U.S. astronauts from 1986 to 1996.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Norm Thagard zips his restraint in his sleep station in the Core Module of Russia's Mir Space Station. Astronaut Norman Thagard launched with cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennady Strekalov aboard a Russian Soyuz to spend 115 days on Mir.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Fisheye view of the space shuttle Atlantis as seen from the Russian Mir Space Station June 29, 1995.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Launched after Mir, Nov. 20,1998, the International Space Station is a large spacecraft in orbit around Earth. The ISS is divided into two main sections, the Russian orbital segment (ROS), and the United States operational segment (USOS).
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Astronaut Piers J. Sellers, STS-121 mission specialist, translates along a truss on the International Space Station during the mission's third and final session of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) while Space Shuttle Discovery was docked with the station.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonauts Sergei Volkov, foreground, and Oleg Kononenko, left background, Expedition 17 commander and flight engineer, respectively; along with NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff, flight engineer, pose for a photo with a Russian Orlan space suit, left, and an Extravehicular Mobility Unit space suit in the Unity node of the International Space Station, July 21, 2008.
    NASA
  • 40 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, enjoys the view of Earth from the windows in the Cupola of the International Space Station.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Space Shuttle Atlantis takes flight on the STS-27 mission in Dec. 2, 1988. April 12, 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle launch.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The crew of STS-1 the very first shuttle mission, flown by the orbiter Columbia. Commander John W. Young, left, and pilot Robert L. Crippen took Columbia on its maiden voyage in 1981.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    STS-95 mission Commander Curtis Brown, left, and Payload Specialist John Glenn on the aft flight deck of Discovery during a press conference, Nov. 1, 1998. The mission was Glenn's return to space after 36 years. He had been the first American to orbit the Earth on board his Friendship 7 Mercury capsule on Feb. 20, 1962. Now, at age 77, he became the oldest person to go into space.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The Hubble Space Telescope is deployed from the shuttle Discovery April 25, 1990. It was perhaps Discovery's highest-profile mission.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Astronaut Dale Gardner, finishing his second spacewalk in three days, holds up a "For Sale" sign referring to the two satellites, Palapa B-2 and Westar 6, that astronauts retrieved from orbit after their rocket engines failed to boost them to useful orbits, Nov. 14, 1984.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The moon is framed between the Earth's limb and the tail of the shuttle Discovery over the Atlantic Ocean on STS-95, a science mission flown in 1998. Seven astronauts were on the mission. The most famous was Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, making a return to space before retiring from public life.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The Space Shuttle Atlantis blazes into the night sky to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, Sept. 25, 1997.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off Nov. 19, 1996 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B in Florida, beginning a planned 16-day mission. The STS-80 mission was the longest shuttle mission ever flown by NASA. Weather delayed Columbia's landing for two days, making the official mission duration 17 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The Constellation program was ordered by President George W. Bush in 2004 to replace the shuttles after their planned retirement, but after it fell behind schedule and its budget grew, President Barack Obama canceled the project on Oct. 11, 2010. He favored shifting the development of orbiting ferry ships to the private sector.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station after departing on its last flight in March 2011.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Against the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, space shuttle Endeavour is docked to the Pressurized Mating Adapter on the International Space Station as seen during the mission's first planned spacewalk, Aug. 11, 2007.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Shuttle Columbia sits on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, April 12, 1981, before the start of the first orbital flight of the shuttle.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Space shuttle Atlantis, is shown in this video still from the International Space Station, as the orbiting complex and Atlantis performed final separation of the shuttle in the early hours of Tuesday July 19, 2011. The Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, which transported tons of supplies to the complex, can be seen in the cargo bay. Atlantis brought a year's worth of supplies to the ISS on this mission.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    This image of the International Space Station was taken by Atlantis' STS-135 crew during a fly around as the shuttle departed the station on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. STS-135 is the final shuttle mission to the orbital laboratory.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    This picture of the space shuttle Atlantis was photographed from the International Space Station as the orbiting complex and the shuttle performed their relative separation in the early hours of July 19, 2011.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Astronaut Sandy Magnus takes advantage of the zero gravity of space and the panoramic view provided by the International Space Station's multi-windowed Cupola, July 16, 2011.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The space shuttle Atlantis is seen over the Bahamas prior to a perfect docking with the International Space Station at 10:07 a.m. (CDT). Part of a Russian Progress spacecraft which is docked to the station is in the foreground.
    NASA
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    The transportation canister carrying the STS-135 payload is lifted toward Launch Pad 39A's rotating service structure, to be transferred into Atlantis' cargo bay, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., June 17, 2011. The canister holds the mission's main payload, the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, which contains supplies and spare parts for the International Space Station. The launch will bring an end of NASA's shuttle program.
    Dimitri Gerondidakis/NASA
  • Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

    From her airplane window, Stephanie Gordon managed to capture the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour just as it began its 14-day mission to the International Space Station.
    Stefanie Gordon @Stefmara
  • 30 Years of Space Shuttle Missions

    Space shuttle Endeavour is seen docked to the International Space Station during the orbiter's final mission in May 2011. This is a time exposure taken as the ships passed over the night side of Earth, so stars are visible and city lights on the ground appear as streaks.
    NASA
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