Challenger's crew shows stunt for space rescues
Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Challenger's astronauts used a mechanical arm to grab a West German test satellite floating free in space Wednesday and then released it again for a spectacular televised formation flight around the world.
The unprecedented operation proved the space shuttle can snatch satellites from orbit for rescue, repair, and reuse. Challenger's busy pilots, Robert Crippen and Frederick Hauck, flew the shuttle up to 1,000 feet from the boxy instrument platform called SPAS before closing in on it to demonstrate the ship's rendezvous capability.