AidSpace Blog

Yearly Archives: 2014

Discovery’s First Mission 30 Years Ago

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Discovery entered service in 1984 as the third orbiter in the space shuttle fleet. Columbia and Challenger had already flown a total of 11 missions as America’s “space truck.” Discovery’s first mission, STS-41D, followed suit as the crew deployed, for the first time, three communications satellites, but it also signaled how the shuttle could serve   …Continue Reading


Discovery’s First Launch: Four Times on the Pad

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Thirty years ago Discovery ascended into space for the first time, after three thwarted launch attempts. Originally scheduled to lift off in June 1984, Discovery launched on August 30 as the twelfth space shuttle mission. The first attempt on June 25 was scrubbed at the routine T-20 minute hold due to error messages from the   …Continue Reading


Remembering the Death of Lt. Joe Kennedy Jr. and America’s First Combat Drones

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Seventy years ago, on August 12, 1944, Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. perished in one of the first American fatalities associated with a pilotless aircraft, which we usually know today as a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The older brother of future president, John F. Kennedy, was taking part in an extraordinary secret war   …Continue Reading


Recalling a First Flight and Flying “Firsts”

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When I was twelve, I had the opportunity to sit left seat on a Bell 206 JetRanger at Lunken Field in Cincinnati, Ohio. The pilot had me follow his movements on the cyclic while he hovered around the ramp. It was a transformative moment. I was hooked on helicopters and flying from that moment on.   …Continue Reading


And it wasn’t even Shark Week!

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While it might come as a bit of a shock, the topics of aviation and sharks rarely intersect here at the National Air and Space Museum. (Sure we have some nifty nose art, but admit it; connecting these two subjects in any way, shape, or form is really quite a stretch!) Luckily, just in time   …Continue Reading