Rocket Launch to ISS (03:33)
Astronauts describe the experience of living in space and the impact of the International Space Station. Tourists visit the Atlantis Exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center. Jerry Ross describes the joy and sadness he felt after seeing the museum. (Credits)
Space Shuttle Program Concludes (03:59)
Atlantis, Endeavor, Enterprise, and Discovery are now artifacts kept in museums after flying for 30 years. Rex Walheim describes departing on STS-135, the final mission of the American Space Shuttle Program. Milt Heflin, the flight director, is the only person who attended both the splashdown of Apollo and Atlantis' final mission.
History of America's Space Program (02:29)
NASA began the Mercury Program in the 1960s; the Gemini and Apollo programs followed. After astronauts landed on the Moon, scientists decided to build a reusable space shuttle; President Nixon approved funding in 1972. Glynn Lunney oversaw the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz missions while Bob Thompson oversaw construction.
Space Shuttle Program Begins (05:31)
Overbudget and over-schedule, John Young and Bob Crippen flew Columbia in 1981; STS-1 landed at Edwards Air Force Base two days later. In thirty years 355 cosmonauts have flown on the space shuttle program. Astronauts describe their experiences lifting off the ground.
Journey in Space (04:14)
Astronauts describe experiencing zero-gravity, seeing the Earth from space, re-entry, and the de-orbit burn. The sun rises or sets every forty-five minutes in space.
Incorporating Ethnic and Gender Diversity (06:47)
Female and Minorities describe becoming astronauts and mission specialists. The Challenger crew of STS-41G included foreigners. David Leestma describes how Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, and Bob Crippen received all the media attention.
Adding Space Shuttles (03:30)
Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis joined Columbia and executed 24 successful missions in five years. STS-51 broke apart after an O-ring seal failure and killed seven passengers; astronauts describe watching the accident. The accident forced NASA to re-tool all its equipment and did not launch a space shuttle for two years.
Hubble Telescope (07:27)
Glynn Lunney explains that when the space shuttle returned two years later, it served in a support capacity. STS-31 deployed the Hubble Telescope. Endeavor attempted to fix the telescope nearsighted mirrors in 1993; Kathryn Thornton, Tom Akers, Jeff Hoffman, and Story Musgrave executed 36 spacewalks.
Last Columbia Space Shuttle Flight (03:37)
Clayton Anderson and Heflin describe STS-107, where Columbia disintegrated upon reentry due to a malfunctioning thermal tile. Colonel Robert D. Cabana informed the families that the space shuttle was lost. The accident forced NASA to re-tool all its equipment and did not launch a space shuttle for two years.
International Space Station (08:23)
Sergei Krikalev became the first Russian to fly aboard a NASA space shuttle in STS-60. Charles Bolden describes how he was initially reticent to lead a Russian/ American joint mission. Astronauts who contributed to building the ISS describe their experiences.
Future of Space Travel (02:40)
Jeanette Epps describe recent changes to the astronaut program. Dr. Robert Braun explains how the Georgia Institute of Technology contributes to recent and future NASA projects.
Inspiring Children to Become Astronauts (03:44)
Brian Duffy describes how children equate space travel with the shuttle. Anderson spent 152 days on the ISS and feels privileged to have experienced it.
Credits: The Space Shuttle: Flying for Me (00:42)
Credits: The Space Shuttle: Flying for Me
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