Astronauts Owen Garriott and Ulf Merbold in Spacelab, 1983.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Astronaut Garriott and scientist Dr Ulf Merbold performing an experiment in weightles conditions. Merbold was the first European NASA astronaut. Spacelab was a modular laboratory that fitted into the cargo bay of the Shuttle, and was used on numerous Shuttle misions between 1983 and 1997. It was designed and built by ESA (European Space Agency) and was Europe's first venture into manned spaceflight. Spacelab-1, the joint NASA-ESA mision was launched on 28th November 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on mision STS-9. The Space Shuttle, the world's first partially reusable launch vehicle, first flew on 12th April 1981 and has been used for all America's manned space misions ever since.