On a sadder note: we say goodbye to Skylab astronaut Bill Pogue and Apollo-Soyuz cosmonaut Valery Kubasov10 Mar 2014, 11:31 UTC
Skylab astronaut Bill Pogue has died on 3 March at the age of 84. Originally selected as an astronaut in 1966, having previously been a pilot in the US Air Force Thunderbirds display team, Pogue made his one and only spaceflight as the Command Module pilot in the crew of the third and last manned mission to visit the U.S. space station Skylab. That mission which started in November 1973 for a time set the record for the longest manned time in space at 84 days. The crew returned safely to Earth in 1974 and the space station was abandoned to its eventual re-entry five years later - though there had been hopes that it may have been brought back into service if the Space Shuttle had become operation in time.
Skylab space station. Courtesy: NASA
We are also sad to report the death in February of Valery Kubasov, a three-space mission veteran cosmonaut whose career including the first real international cooperation mission in manned spaceflight: the US-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) link up mission in 1975. On this mission, Soviet cosmonauts had their Soyuz spacecraft docked with a NASA Apollo spacecraft using a special docking system.
ASTP Apollo spacecraft ...