Wednesday, April 14, 2021

On This Day in 1981: Columbia Completes Her First Space Shuttle Mission...

The orbiter Columbia touches down on Runway 23 at Edwards Air Force Base in California...successfully completing the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, on April 14, 1981.
Photo courtesy of the Edwards AFB History Office

40 years ago today, the orbiter Columbia safely touched down on Runway 23 at Edwards Air Force Base in California to complete her maiden flight, STS-1. The next mission wouldn't be till 7 months later...when Columbia, designated Orbiter Vehicle-102 (the prototype Enterprise, now on display in New York City, is OV-101. Columbia's immediate successor, Challenger, was OV-099), would embark on STS-2. This was also a 2-day test flight, piloted by astronauts Joe H. Engle and Richard H. Truly, that ended with another successful landing at Edwards.

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