The Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden voyage on this day in history, Aug.30, 1984.
For Discovery, the fourth time was the charm: The previous three launch attempts were scrubbed, with one canceled just six seconds before liftoff.
That aborted launch — the first of its kind for the Space Shuttle program — occurred on June 26, 1984. The mission was called off after an issue was discovered with one of the main engines.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, AUGUST 29, 2005, HURRICANE KATRINA SLAMS INTO GULF COAST, CAUSING MASSIVE DAMAGE
After a two-month delay, Discovery returned to the launch pad on August 29; that launch, too, was scrubbed.
Discovery finally blasted off from Kennedy Space Center on August 30.
That initial mission, STS-41-D, had six people aboard: Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., Pilot Michael L. Coats, Mission Specialists Richard M. Mullane, Steven A. Hawley, and Judith Resnik, and Payload Specialist Charles D. Walker.
The official portrait of the crew of STS-41-D, the debut mission of Space Shuttle Discovery. Pictured in front are mission specialists Richard M. Mullane and Steven A. Hawley, Commander Henry W. Hartsfield and pilot Michael P. Coats. In the back row are payload specialist Charles D. Walker and mission specialist Judith Resnik. (HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Walker, who worked for the aerospace company McDonnell Douglas, was the first commercially sponsored payload specialist to ride on the Space Shuttle.
It was the first trip into space for everyone except Hartsfield, who was making his initial spaceflight.
All would return to space, except for Resnik.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, JAN. 28, 1986, SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER EXPLODES, SHOCKING THE NATION
Resnik was one of the seven astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on Jan. 28, 1986.
Despite its troubled beginnings, the six-day mission of STS-41-D went off relatively smoothly, said NASA’s website.
Mission specialist Judith A. Resnik…