[WORLDKINGS] On this day – April 12, 2023 – The 42nd Anniversary of the Space Shuttle's first flight into space (1981)


(Worldkings.org) Space shuttle Columbia was the first shuttle to reach space when it was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Apr. 12, 1981. Columbia ushered in a new era of spaceflight.

The space shuttle Columbia was named after the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe and also the command module for the Apollo 11(opens in new tab) moon landing according to NASA.


Space shuttle Columbia's first flight into space took place on Apr. 12, 1981, according to NASA. The shuttle program was officially referred to as the Space Transportation System (STS), so this flight was STS-1.


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 (ASTP) in 1975. STS-1 was also the maiden test flight of a new American spacecraft to carry a crew, though it was preceded by atmospheric testing (ALT) of the orbiter and ground testing of the Space Shuttle system.

The launch occurred on the 20th anniversary of Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight, performed by Yuri Gagarin for the USSR. This was a coincidence rather than a celebration of the anniversary; a technical problem had prevented STS-1 from launching two days earlier, as was planned.

Columbia returned safely from its first mission on April 14, 1981, in 54.5 hours, having orbited the Earth 37 times.


Columbia carried dozens of astronauts into space during the next two decades, reaching several milestones. The shuttle also underwent upgrades as technology advanced.

Space shuttle Columbia's final mission ended in disaster. The shuttle and seven-member crew were lost over Texas when Columbia burned up during reentry on Feb 1, 2003. Columbia's loss prompted NASA to do extra safety checks in orbit for all future missions.


According to Wikipedia - space.com

Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)


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