SPACE TODAY ONLINE    Covering Space From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
Cover Rockets Satellites Shuttles Stations Astronauts Solar System Deep Space Global Links

Man-In-Space Firsts:

Biggest no-go disappointment: The Soviet Union failed in four secret attempts to fly a Moon rocket around 1970. In 1991 the USSR told the world about its massive N1 Moon rocket. The Soviet rocket had four stages with 43 engines, while America's successful Saturn 5 had three stages with 11 engines. One N1 managed to climb to an altitude of 70,000 feet before failing. The Soviet man-on-the-Moon program then was scrapped.

Biggest no-go relief: McCall, Idaho, school teacher Barbara Morgan surely must have been relieved later, recalling she had been selected only as backup for astronaut Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the Concord, New Hampshire, high school social studies teacher killed in the 1986 Challenger disaster.

Flew to the moon, didn't get to land: Frank Borman, James Lovell, William Anders, Thomas Stafford, Michael Collins, Richard Gordon, John Swigart, Fred Haise, Stuart Roosa, Alfred Worden, Thomas Mattingly and Ronald Evans.

First shuttle spacewalk disappointment: The November 1982 flight of Columbia carried the largest crew up to that time including the first mission specialists -- Joseph Allen and William Lenoir. A spacewalk planned for Allen and Lenoir would have been the first from a Shuttle, but was cancelled when neither space suit worked.

Biggest disappointment: For more than a decade, NASA had been touting Hubble Space Telescope as man's greatest engineering feat. After many delays, it finally was dropped off in space by shuttle Discovery in April 1990. Two months later, NASA was severely embarrassed when Hubble's pictures turned out blurry. The 12-ton telescope's 94-in. mirror was curved incorrectly. Astronauts fixed it in 1993.

Most disrespectful: Blasting off from the Moon in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin toppled into the dirt the American flag they had planted in the lunar soil.

Man-In-Space Firsts index STO Cover Search STO Questions
Top of this page About STO Feedback E-Mail
© 2003 Space Today Online