The Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A on mission STS 41-B on February 3, 1984. Aboard the Challenger were astronauts Vance D. Brand, Robert L. Gibson, Ronald E. McNair, Bruce McCandless II, and Robert L. Stewart. The first untethered spacewalks with the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) were made on this mission. This dramatic air to air picture was taken by astronaut John Young who was monitoring the launch in the cockpit of NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft.
For the first time in 2,044 days, a rocket is perched atop historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket arrived at the pad early this morning, February 10, ahead of an upcoming static fire test.
The former Apollo and Shuttle era launch pad last saw a space vehicle in July of 2011 when the final space shuttle mission, STS-135, launched. NASA continued to operate the pad until early 2015, when SpaceX leased it for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy operations. This historic event marks the third rocket to fly from LC-39A behind the Saturn V moon rocket and space shuttle.
SpaceX will perform a static fire test sometime Saturday to test the rocket’s systems. Once complete, the rocket will return to the Horizontal Integration Facility for mating with the Dragon spacecraft.
Falcon 9 will perform its east-coast return to flight with the CRS-10 mission to the International Space Station, slated for February 18. Following liftoff, the rocket’s first stage will return to Cape Canaveral for a landing at LZ-1, the third time the company has done so.
Below, the Falcon 9 rocket is seen prior to being erected vertical at LC-39A.(Photo credit: William Harwood/CBS.)
The Space Shuttle Discovery soars
skyward from Launch Pad 39B on Mission STS-64 at 6:22:35 p.m. EDT,
September 9, 1994. On board were a crew of six: Commander Richard N.
Richards; Pilot L. Blaine Hammond Jr.; and Mission Specialists Mark C.
Lee, Carl J. Meade, Susan J. Helms and Dr. J.M. Linenger. Payloads for
the flight included the Lidar InSpace Technology Experiment (LITE), the
Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy 201 (SPARTAN201)
and the Robot Operated Processing System (ROMPS).
The Space Shuttle Discovery has cleared the launch tower at Pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), in this low-angle, 35mm frame, and was headed toward an eleven-day mission in Earth-orbit in support of the STS-85 mission. Launch occurred at 10:41 a.m. (EDT), August 7, 1997. [1920 x 2900]
The workhorse of the Kennedy Space Center. The crawlers transported the large rockets and Space Shuttle to the launch pads. Sometime soon, these old, tough machines will be transporting the SLS rockets to the launch pad.
STS-1: The First Space Shuttle Mission, April 12, 1981
Thirty-five years ago on April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia launched as part of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, with the crew consisting of mission commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen. It was NASA’s first crewed space flight since the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975.
Through the Clouds : On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7 from Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center. One of her jobs was to call out Roll program seven seconds after launch. Ill guarantee that those were the hardest words I ever had to get out of my mouth, she said later.
A massive 19 million pounds (8.6
million kilograms) of Space Shuttle, support and transport hardware,
inch toward Launch Pad 39A from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The fully
assembled Space Shuttle Endeavour, minus its payloads, weighs about 4.5
million pounds (2 million kg.); the mobile launch platform on which it
was stacked and from which it will lift off weighs 9.25 million pounds
(4.19 million kg.) and the crawler-transporter carrying the platform and
Shuttle checks in at around 6 million pounds (2.7 million kg.). Once at
the pad, the Shuttle and launch platform will be positioned atop
support columns to complete preparations for the second Shuttle launch
of 1995. Primary payload of Mission STS-67 is the Astro-2 astrophysics
observatory, carrying three ultraviolet telescopes that flew on the
Astro-1 mission in 1990. STS-67 also is scheduled to become the longest
Shuttle flight to date, lasting 16 days.
On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly
in space when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7
from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-7 crew
consisted of astronauts Robert Crippen, commander, the first two-time
space shuttle astronaut; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; and three mission
specialists – Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman E. Thagard.
This high-angle view of the shuttle liftoff, showing a lengthy
stretch of Florida Atlantic coastline and a number of large cumulus
clouds, was photographed with a handheld 70mm camera by astronaut John
W. Young, who piloted the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) for weather
monitoring at launch and landing sites for STS missions.
One of Sally Ride’s jobs was to call out “Roll program” seven seconds
after launch. “I’ll guarantee that those were the hardest words I ever
had to get out of my mouth,” she said later.