Unfinished Business

Columbia, however, remained in the OPF, where work gradually picked up on removing the STS-32 flight hardware and preparing her for another 10-day jaunt in early May 1990, during which she would tend to some business that had been left unfinished four years before. This was the completion of the ASTRO-1 mission, which was originally her next flight after STS-61C but had been indefinitely postponed following the Challenger disaster. Now renumbered STS-35, even after the resumption of Shuttle flights, the mission would prove a bear to get off the ground and already her crew had changed several times.

Although the 'science crew' - Mission Specialists Jeff Hoffman and Bob Parker and Payload Specialists Sam Durrance and Ron Parise; the team who would actually operate the ASTRO-1 telescopes during two 12-hour shifts - remained intact from the original STS-61E crew, the other three astronauts were relatively new. When the

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