Twenty-five years ago today — August 30, 1984 — the Space Shuttle Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center on its maiden voyage.
(STS-41D launch. NASA image.)
Astronauts Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., Michael L. Coats, Judith A. Resnik, Steven A. Hawley, Richard M. Mullane, and Charles D. Walker made up the crew of STS-41D, which was the first mission on which three separate satellites were deployed (SBS-D, Syncom IV-2, and Telstar 3-C).
(STS-41D mission patch. NASA image.)
The mission also carried an experimental solar wing with different types of solar cells that deployed to its full size (102 feet x 13 feet) several times to demonstrate large lightweight solar arrays — not unlike those currently on the International Space Station.by