I'm twenty-one and I'm crazy. Fangirl, (aspiring) scientist and writer. I'm at college in Boston right now, but New York will always be my home. Likes archaeology, astronomy, space travel, history, superhero comics, general science, the oceans, Star Wars, aviation, exploration/geography, mysteries and Disney. (Which is where my title comes from...)
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
R.I.P. Astronaut Dale A. Gardner, who passed away on February 19 in Colorado Springs at the age of 65.
Some facts about his amazing life and career:
Gardner’s most famous for going on a very risky spacewalk with fellow astronaut Joseph P. Allen in order to retrieve two wayward satellites (Palapa B-2 and the Westar 6) that had slipped into “useless orbits.” On the first EVA, Allen successfully attached the shuttle’s mechanical arm to the Palapa, but an obstruction prevented them from pulling the satellite into the cargo bay. As Allen guided the 1,200-pound behemoth into the bay, inertia made it almost crash into the shuttle. Gardner jumped into prevent the potential disaster.
While retrieving the 1,000-pound Westar, Gardner made a 35-foot spacewalk to connect it with the mechanical arm. Still, more manual labor was involved. Gardner said, “Move it very gently.” Allen’s reply: “Believe me, brother, there’s no other way to move it.”
After the deed was done, Commander Gardner posed for an iconic photo holding a “For Sale” sign. Fairly cheeky by NASA standards.
Gardner logged a total of 337 hours in space and made 225 orbits around the Earth on his two missions (STS-8 and STS-51-A).
When he zoomed into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on his second mission, it was November 8, 1984, his birthday. On the return trip, he piloted the Challenger to its first night landing.
He was valedictorian of his 1966 class at Savanna Community High School in Savanna, Illinois.
While serving in the Navy as a test pilot, he worked on the development of the F-14 Tomcat.
From the Navy he was selected for the astronaut corps. When the Challenger disaster disrupted his chances for a third flight into space, Gardner returned to active duty in the Navy and later worked with Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, where he lived out his days.
As for Earth-based activities, Dale Gardner enjoyed snow skiing, tennis, golf, woodworking and photography.
"This film interviews women employed in NASA’s space transportation programs and shows the variety of positions that they hold, ranging from electrical engineer, aerial photography analyst, and safety specialist to astronaut mission specialist. It notes how the women obtained their training and qualified for their positions. Astronaut Anna Lee Fisher, Dr. Patricia Cowings, Shirley Cevalier, Sue Norman, Sharon Orkansky, Brenda Willis, and Astronaut Catherine Sullivan are profiled. This film was designed for use in career education and guidance classes."
You better believe Ricardo Montalban narrates.
Yes, and there is also a computer technician wearing banana earrings.