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Atlas 5 launches ASTRA
The Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket blasts off with the European ASTRA 1KR television broadcast satellite right on time April 20 from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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STS-51A: Daring mission
Soon after the Palapa and Westar communications satellites got stranded in worthless orbits following their deployment from shuttle Challenger in February 1984, planners began devising a rescue mission to launch that November. The STS-51A flight of shuttle Discovery is arguably one of the most daring and complex space missions ever attempted. The crew successfully launched two communications satellites and then retrieved Palapa and Westar during extraordinary spacewalks using jet-propelled backpacks and hands-on muscle power. Watch the amazing flight unfold with narration by the crew in this post-flight film.

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Memories of STS-1
In the continuing 25th anniversary celebration of STS-1, this program looks at the engineering challenges behind development of the space shuttle and performing the first flight from Mission Control. This panel includes Milt Heflin, the STS-1 ascent/entry electrical power system flight controller, former space shuttle program manager Bob Thompson, former orbiter project manager Aaron Cohen, Neil Hutchinson, the STS-1 ascent flight director, and astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen.

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STS-1 anniversary event
This 25th anniversary celebration of the first space shuttle launch took place April 12 at Space Center Houston. Speakers included Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, Congressman Tom DeLay, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, STS-1 commander John Young and pilot Bob Crippen.

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International Space Station supply ship launched
Posted: April 24, 2006

Credit: Energia
A shipment of supplies is on its way to the International Space Station. The ISS Progress 21P cargo ship was launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The new resupply ship lifted off at 12:03 p.m. EDT (10:03 p.m. Baikonur time). Less than 10 minutes later, the cargo ship reached orbit, and its solar arrays and navigational antennas were deployed for its two-day trip to the orbital outpost.

Two pre-programmed firings of the Progress' main engine are scheduled today to fine-tune the ship's path to the space station. Additional rendezvous maneuvers are planned Tuesday and Wednesday.

When the Progress launched, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Flight Engineer and Science Officer Jeff Williams were flying 219 statute miles over the Earth off the northeast coast of Australia in their 26th day in space and their 24th day on the complex.

Carrying 2.5 tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and other supplies, the new Progress is scheduled to automatically dock to the aft port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The older ISS Progress 20P supply ship that arrived at the station just before Christmas will remain at the Pirs Docking Compartment until mid-June. It will be used to stow trash and to enable its supply of oxygen to replenish the cabin atmosphere.

Live coverage of the docking of Progress 21P to the space station begins at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday on NASA Television.