STS-9

ColumbiaReturning to space after nearly a year of refits, Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off on the long-delayed first manned mission of the Spacelab laboratory module, which is installed in the cargo bay. (The nearly month-long delay was the result of a solid rocket booster issue that led to the first-ever return of the shuttle from the launch pad to the Vehicle Assembly Building.) The ten-day mission also boasts the first six-person shuttle crew, featuring the first Spacelab scientists from the European Space Agency, who have been training for this mission since the 1970s. Columbia’s crew includes Commander John Young, Pilot Brewster Shaw, mission specialists Owen Garriott and Robert Parker, and ESA payload specialists Byron Lichtenberg and Ulf Merbold.