Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

August 9, 1995

Challenger Launches Spacelab 2
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Centre

Explanation: Space Shuttle Challenger jumps off the launch pad in 1985 to begin a successful mission. The main purpose of this mission was to test a new space based laboratory named Spacelab 2. Spacelab 2 takes advantage of the effectively weightless conditions in orbit to carry out experiments in areas such as astronomy, physics, life science, materials science, and atmospheric physics. Challenger and her crew were lost in 1986 when a booster failure resulted in the breakup of the vehicle. Previously, Challenger and her crews flew nine successful Space Shuttle missions and made significant contributions to America's scientific growth.

Tomorrow's picture: The Orbiting Hubble Space Telescope

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.