The Space Shuttle Era in 10 Stories

BY Jenny Marder  July 8, 2011 at 5:05 PM EST

On the occasion of the last space shuttle launch, we looked back at some notable NewsHour coverage of the shuttle program over the years:

1986 | The Challenger disaster reaches back beyond our online resources, but we can point you to science correspondent Miles O’Brien’s musings and memories from the anniversary of that day.

1998 | John Glenn, the first American man to orbit the earth, headed back into space aboard shuttle Discovery to study weightlessness and aging.

2003 | Columbia was destroyed when insulation foam broke loose from the fuel tank and knocked a hole in the orbiter’s wing. Following the loss of shuttle, the NewsHour spoke with astronauts, historians, shuttle investigators, former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe and other NASA officials. Full NewsHour coverage of the disaster can be found here.

2005 | NASA and crew prepare for shuttle Discovery’s return-to-flight launch.

2005 | After 14 years of planning, a Russian rocket sends the first piece of the International Space Station into orbit.

2007 | NASA announces plans for missions to the moon and Mars.

2009 | In the wake of a shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, we posted a slideshow on two decades of Hubble repairs.

2010 | As NASA’s space shuttle program comes to an end after decades of service, Miles and Judy Woodruff looked at the future of space exploration, particularly at private companies looking to fill the void.

2011 | Space shuttle Discovery, the workhorse of the fleet, launches on its final mission.

2011 | The NewsHour teamed with Google and YouTube for a live interview with Commander Mark Kelly and the Endeavour shuttle crew while they were aboard the International Space Station.

We’d like to hear from you | What’s your most notable memory of the shuttle program? Leave a comment below or tweet us @newshoursci.