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(L-R) West German Payload Specialist Ernst Messerchmid, October 27, 1985, and his crewmates on the Space Shuttle Challeger STS-61A mission Pilot Steven Nagel (waving), Payload Specialist Wubbo Ockels, ESA from Netherlands, Commander Henry Hartsfield, Payload Specialist Reinhard Furrer from West Germany and Guion S. Bluford, mission specialist, en route for lunch pad on October 27, 1985 before taking off on October 30. STS-61-A was the 22nd Space Shuttle mission. It was a scientific Spacelab mission funded and controlled by West Germany and carried German Spacelab D-1. It was also the last successful mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger. STS-61-A holds the record for the largest crew, eight people, aboard any single spacecraft for the entire period from launch to landing. The Space Shuttle mission carried the NASA/ESA Spacelab module with 76 experiments, and was declared a success. Payload operations were controlled from the German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany instead of the regular NASA centers. AFP PHOTO JOHATHAN UTZ (Photo credit: JONATHAN UTZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Astronaut Hank Hartsfield Dies At 80

Former astronaut Henry “Hank” Hartsfield, who logged 483 hours during three trips into space and commanded two shuttle missions, has died.

07/25/2014

Astronaut Alan Bean with a container of lunar soil collected during the Apollo 12 mission. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Astronaut’s Scissors Fetch $100,000 At Auction

Scissors used by astronaut Alan Bean when he walked on the moon sold for $100,000 at an auction of space gear.

05/14/2014

One of the Mercury 7, astronaut Scott Carpenter has died. (Getty Images)

Scott Carpenter, 2nd American In Orbit, Dies

Astronaut Scott Carpenter has died at age 88.

10/11/2013

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) (Getty Images)

Even Amid Furloughs, Some Texans Cheer Cruz

Thanks to Texas’ new Senator, Dale Huls is out of a job_at least for now. Yet Huls has never been prouder that he voted for him.

10/05/2013

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Proposed Spaceport In Houston To Be Discussed

Houston leaders are proceeding with efforts to establish a licensed spaceport at one of the city’s airports.

09/04/2013

(Photo Credit: NASA via Getty Images)

NASA Aborts Spacewalk

On Tuesday, NASA aborted a spacewalk at the International Space Station due to a dangerous water leak found in an astronaut’s helmet.

07/16/2013

(credit: Getty Images)

NASA Remembers Columbia Crew; Marks Ten Years

Friday marks ten years since Space Shuttle Columbia and its seven astronauts were lost. They were returning from a 16-day mission, and were less then 20 minutes from home when the shuttle exploded and disintegrated on Feb. 1, 2003.

02/01/2013

In this handout illustration made available on by NASA, the Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star is digitally illustrated. (Photo Illustration by Ames/JPL-Caltech/NASA via Getty Images)

Study: Billions Of Earth-Size Planets In Milky Way

Astronomers hunting for Earth-like planets now have many places to look. A new estimate released Monday suggested the Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 17 billion planets similar in size to our planet.

01/07/2013

File photo of Mars. (credit: Getty Images)

Study: Mars-Bound Astronauts Exposed To Heavy Radiation; More Likely To Have Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Future astronauts expected to make long-term trips to Mars may be facing an increased probability of taking on symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease that could affect their memories.

01/02/2013

Sally Ride (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Event For Girls Continues Legacy Of Sally Ride

Almost 900 middle school girls gathered for the Sally Ride Festival at Rice University, where they interacted with displays at science, technology, engineering and mathematics tables.

10/29/2012

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