On STS-93 we’ve got a ton of stuff to do in a mission lasting less than five days. We’ll break another glass barrier, we’ll put the redundancy of the Space Shuttle Main Engines to the test, and we’ll explore the universe in a whole new part of the spectrum. Buckle up, it’s a heck of a flight.
On the first resupply mission to the ISS we've got tons of stuff to transfer, a disco ball to deploy, and a surprising number of quotations from Dan Barry!
The ISS era is upon us! Let's learn about Zarya, the first module of the International Space Station, and bring it a buddy: Unity! With a Russian and an American module flying, the ISS will be born. In this episode we'll wonder why it's too quiet, why the wires are on the outside, and which teams were playing down in South America!
On STS-95 we've got the return of SPARTAN, the return of SPACEHAB, and the return of.. John Glenn! Let's do some science and learn how the 77 year old former astronaut found himself once again whizzing around in orbit.
We take a look back at the Shuttle-Mir program, including a whirlwind tour of all seven long duration missions and a glimpse into Mir's ultimate fate.
On STS-91 we'll try out a new external tank, learn a little physics, and find out what Mir upper management thinks about the state of the space station. Oh, we'll also bring Andy Thomas home and wave farewell to Mir forever.
We take a brief break from space to consider some valuable life lessons.
On STS-90 we've got a Spacelab full of nervous system experiments, we'll play a little catch, and we'll wonder where NASA got 2000 crickets.
Andy Thomas is watching Space Shuttle Endeavour fade into the distance and is ready to get to work. His four month stay on Mir would close out the American presence on the Russian space station. We also wonder what that burning smell is, do a bunch of EVAs, and wave farewell to "Ol' Stinky"
Dave Wolf is ready to come home, which is good because Andy Thomas is ready to become the last NASA astronaut to live on Mir. So put on some nice headphones, pull up a chair next to the aquarium window, and relax with some spaceflight history as we kick off 1998!
On STS-87 we've got a bunch of material science in the payload bay, a free-flying satellite, a camera that fell out of Star Wars, and 645,500 friends! We also get to the bottom of a significant mishap.
Here's the link to that AERCam video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtmQyAifHj0
Dave Wolf's stint on Mir is going pretty smoothly, but when he performs his first EVA we find cause to go on a mini deep dive into the history of the station's airlock. That's definitely not ominous, right?
After much back and forth on the ground, it has been decided that Dave Wolf will remain on Mir for his full mission. So what does he do while he's up there? And who's that in the window??
Dave Wolf didn't think he was going to Mir for another six months, but when Russia decides Wendy Lawrence is too short, schedules change. Though if Congress has anything to say about it, Wolf might not be going anywhere after all.
It's Kent Rominger's birthday, so what better way to celebrate than launching into space? Along the way we'll send CRISTA-SPAS out for one last adventure, try out a Japanese robot arm, take pictures of comets, and try to avoid Blue Screens of Death.
By the way, I did hit a BSOD while editing the episode, but luckily no data was lost!
The crew, payload, and orbiter of STS-94 all have unfinished business in low earth orbit thanks to a busted fuel cell on STS-83. Let's kick the tires, light the fires, and then light around 200 more fires, but carefully.
Spektr has been sealed off from the rest of Mir and the station's attitude is back under control, but there's still a lot of work left to do. Can the crew regain access to Spektr's solar panels? What happens to laptops left in a vacuum? And who knew that you actually should bring a knife to a space fight!
Mike Foale is replacing Jerry Linenger on Mir for NASA's next long duration mission on the Russian space station. After the raging fire and near-collision by a Progress resupply ship on NASA-4, surely things will settle down for a while on NASA-5.. right?
It turns out the NASA-5 episode was taking a little more time than I anticipated, can't imagine why. But since I'll be on vacation next week, I would have had to slip by TWO weeks. Rather than leave you all hanging, I have a story about my second rocket launch, along with a little review of early SpaceX history. Plus a trip to Waffle House!
On STS-84 we'll deliver Mike Foale to Mir, bring Jerry Linenger back to Earth, wonder how much Elektron really weighs, enjoy the music in the base block, and contemplate the mystical powers of a shouting Marine.
The crew of STS-83 is gearing up for a 16 day flight aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. With Spacelab packed full of materials science experiments, everything seemed ready to go.. so why did the flight end up only being four days long?
On STS-82 we've got another ground-up rendezvous on our hands. But instead of flying to Mir, we'll be visiting our old friend the Hubble Space Telescope. It's been a few years since STS-61 fixed its optical flaw, and it's due for an upgrade!
We've still got half of Jerry Linenger's mission on Mir to cover, and while there aren't any fires, it's just as action packed! We've got near-misses, secret contraband, and a history-making EVA.
Jerry Linenger's long duration mission on Mir was so jam-packed that I had to break it up into two parts! In Part 1, we'll heed some lessons from John Blaha, learn where to find extra photographic film, and light some candles during dinner.
On STS-81 we'll deliver Jerry Linenger to his new home for the next few months, return John Blaha to Earth, and transfer a few tons of equipment while we're at it. Along the way we'll go for a run, admire a previous crew's DIY fix, and toss some meat and cheese around the Mir base block. Just don't get lost on the way from the orbiter!