Mission Monday: STS-60 – A new golden era in space collaboration


Today in 1994, STS-60 launched as the first flight of the year for Space Shuttle Discovery. This eight-day mission was the first shuttle mission where a Russian cosmonaut joined the crew.

The STS-60 crew included commander Charles F. Bolden Jr., Pilot Kenneth F. Reightler Jr. and Mission Specialists N. Jan Davis, Ronald M. Sega, Franklin R. Chang-Diaz and cosmonaut Sergei K. Krikalev.

The crew worked together to activate multiple experiments including the commercially developed SPACEHAB laboratory module. They also conducted the first NASA-Russian Space Agency joint in-flight medical and radiological investigations.

The mission sparked a new era of human space flight cooperative efforts between the United States and Russia. It was the first flight as part of a three-phased program with Shuttle-Mir rendezvous, development of the International Space Station, and expansion of the space station to include additional international partners.

While STS-60 was the final of four space flights for commander Bolden, it was not the end of his contributions to international space collaboration.

Bolden went on to serve as the first African American NASA administrator from 2009 to 2017.

During his tenure, Bolden oversaw the safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration focused on full utilization of the International Space Station and space and aeronautics technology development. He also led the agency in developing a Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts to deep space destinations.

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