Shuttle astronauts repairing the Solar Maximum Satellite, 1984.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Astronauts George Nelson and James van Hoften with the satellite in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Challenger. During Shuttle mision 41-C, launched on 6th April 1984, astronauts Nelson and van Hoften captured the Solar Maximum Satellite, that had failed in orbit four years before, taking it back to Challenger where they repaired and released it again. This was the first repair of a satellite in space. The astronauts are shown attached to the robot arm, repairing the satellite. The Remote Manoeuvering System (RMS) or robot arm was developed by the Canadian government and has proved crucial to the succes of many Shuttle misions due to its versatility and accuracy.