In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, pictured from the left are astronaut Owen K. Garriott, Vice President George Bush, and Ulf Merbold of West Germany, inside Spacelab in the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center. This European-built orbital laboratory was formally dedicated on February 5, 1982.
Merbold was one of the payload specialists on the first Spacelab flight STS-9, that launched November 28, 1983. Spacelab was a reusable laboratory that allowed scientists to perform various experiments in microgravity while orbiting Earth. Designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and mounted in NASA's Space Shuttle cargo bay, Spacelab flew on missions from 1983 to 1997.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).