31st Anniversary of STS-1 Launch Print
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Thursday, 12 April 2012 17:32


On April 12, 1981, the liftoff of Columbia on STS-1 ushered in NASA’s space shuttle era. Astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen made 37 orbits on the two-day mission that successfully tested all major systems of the new orbiter. The shuttle was humankind's first re-usable spacecraft. The orbiter, which many people think of as the "shuttle," would launch like a rocket and land like a plane. The two solid rocket boosters that helped propel it into space was also re-used, after being recovered in the ocean. Only the massive external fuel tank would burn up as it fell back to Earth. It was all known as the Space Transportation System. This first flight of the space shuttle came twenty years to the day after Yuri Gagarin in 1961 became the first human to travel into space. Includes historic footage of STS-1 launch followed by Yuri Gagarin footage.


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Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 16:46
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