back to article They did it for science: 40 years since Spacelab module first launched

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first launch of the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Spacelab module aboard astronaut John Young's final Space Shuttle mission. Space Shuttle in orbit with a cutaway Spacelab in the payload bay Spacelab (click to enlarge) Pic: NASA / MSFC Spacelab was a significant step for the …

  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    "one of the orbiter's three auxiliary power units (APUs) caught fire and burned itself out – something that lay undiscovered until days later."

    I know the shuttle was a very complicated piece of (cutting edge) engineering, but one would have hoped that an APU catching fire and burning out would have resulted in some sort of 'real time' warning.

    I still remember being very excited by the STS missions. I remember that John Young's heart rate was 'normal' for his first STS launch, and this was considered strange as everyone was expecting him to be a bit stressed, but he explained being so relaxed by saying 'this is where I am meant to be'.

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