Space Shuttle Columbia Makes Its First Flight
Apr. 12, Astronauts John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen flew Space Shuttle Columbia on the first flight of the Space Transportation System (STS-1). Columbia, which takes its name from three famous vessels including one of the first U.S. Navy ships to circumnavigate the globe, became the first airplane-like craft to land from orbit for reuse when it touched down at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California at approximately 10:21 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 14th after a flight of two days, six hours and almost 21 minutes. The mission also was the first to employ both liquid- and solid-propellant rocket engines for the launch of a spacecraft carrying humans.
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