Astronaut Ernst Messerschmid returns to Spacelab - 25 years after the D1 mission
Drops of orange juice that transform into cubes, astronauts sliding back and forth on a sled in zero gravity, repeated glimpses of the blue globe below. The images that reached Earth from the D1 Spacelab mission are spectacular even today. The first German mission, it was launched on 30 October 25 years ago from Cape Canaveral. Space Shuttle Challenger carried the European research laboratory, Spacelab, which looked like a gigantic metal can from the outside, packed full of technology on the inside. It was crewed by the astronauts Ernst Messerschmid, Reinhard Furrer and Wubbo Ockels, sent into orbit to perform almost 80 experiments in a state of weightlessness.