STS 1 – The first orbital NASA’s Space Shuttle program

STS 1 – The first orbital NASA’s Space Shuttle program

Space Transportation System-1 was the first orbital spaceflight of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Columbia, launched on 12 April 1981 and returned on 14 April, having orbited the Earth 36 times.

STS-1 Orbiter Columbia arrival at Complex 39A / Image: NASA

Columbia carried a crew of two – mission commander John W. Young and pilot Robert L. Crippen. It was the first American crewed space flight since the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project in 1975.

The launch occurred on the 20th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, a technical problem had prevented STS-1 from launching two days earlier, as was planned.

Columbia crew members: John W. Young, Robert L. Crippen / Image: NASA
Columbia Space Shuttle program

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