Astronaut Dale Gardner (b.1948) died on February 19. Gardner joined NASA in 1978 and made his first flight aboard Challenger flight STS-8. Gardner made a second flight on Discovery mission STS-51-A. He was scheduled to be on the first shuttle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base before the use of that launch site was cancelled following the Challenger disaster. In 1986, he left NASA to return to the Navy.
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