May 7, 1992: Space Shuttle Endeavour Launches on its Maiden Voyage

Space Shuttle Endeavour

On May 7, 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour launched on its first flight. Endeavour was the fifth and last space shuttle that was ever built, and STS-49 was the first of 25 missions to fly on it. The purpose of this mission was to retrieve a satellite called Intelsat 603, which had failed to reach the right orbit after problems with its launch two years earlier. Three of the six astronauts had to go on a spacewalk together to fetch the satellite, and this was the first time that a trio of astronauts did a spacewalk together. The crew first tried to do the job with just two astronauts going out two days in a row, but the third time was a charm with an extra pair of hands. The three spacewalkers attached a new motor that would enable Intelsat 603 to leave low Earth orbit and head to its intended geosynchronous orbit.