Crew: Crippen, Gardner Guy, Mullane, Ross, Gardner, Aldridge, Watterson. Planned Department of Defense shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Would have been first launch from the ill-fated SLC-6 launch site at Vandenberg, California. Backup crew: Odle.
Planned Department of Defense shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Would have been first launch from the ill-fated SLC-6 launch site at Vandenberg, California.
George Abbey angered the USAF when he assigned Navy pilot Crippen as crew commander. Abbey would not give in on Crippen but finally agreed that the majority of the balance of the crew would be USAF. Immediately after the funeral for the astronauts from the Challenger disaster word already was already out that the Air Force would cancel the military shuttle program and switch to its preferred expendable vehicles. The later 'controversy' about Vandenberg launch facilities being 'unsafe' for shuttle launches was just a fig leaf.
First Launch: 1986 July.
More... - Chronology...
Crippen Crippen, Robert Laurel 'Bob' (1937-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-1, STS-7, STS-41-C, STS-41-G. Member of first crew to fly a winged spacecraft to orbit and back. More...
Aldridge Aldridge, Edward Cleveland Jr 'Pete' (1938-) American politician payload specialist astronaut, 1985-1986. More...
Mullane Mullane, Richard Michael 'Mike' (1945-) American test engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-D, STS-27, STS-36. Author of the frankest astronaut biography ever published. Flew 150 combat missions in Vietnam. More...
Gardner, Guy Gardner, Guy Spencer (1948-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-27, STS-35. Grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. Flew 177 combat missions over Vietnam. More...
Ross Ross, Jerry Lynn (1948-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-B, STS-27, STS-37, STS-55, STS-74, STS-88, STS-110. Held world record of seven spaceflights. US record of nine spacewalks. More...
Gardner Gardner, Dale Allan (1948-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-8, STS-51-A. More...
Watterson Watterson, John Brett (1949-) American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1979-1986. More...
Odle Odle, Randy Thomas (1951-) American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1986. More...
STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...
Mullane, Mike, Riding Rockets, Scribner, New York, 2006.
1986 July -
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