On this day in history in 1984, the Challenger space shuttle returned to Earth after carrying seven astronauts, its largest crew to date. It landed safely at Kennedy Space Center after an eight-day flight, during which it had deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite.
Yesterday: The Flight of the Voskhod 1
This flight, which launched on Oct. 5, was also the first time two women flew into space together, the first time a Canadian and an Australian-born person flew in space, and the first time a woman, Kathryn Sullivan, performed a spacewalk. Sullivan demonstrated the Orbital Refueling System, proving that it was feasible to refuel satellites in orbit.
It was also Challenger’s longest mission, lasting eight days, five hours, 23 minutes and 33 seconds.
Challenger flew successful missions for two more years until the accident on Jan. 28, 1986 which took the lives of the seven crewmembers and stalled the shuttle program.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense