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 . Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel  

Date: April 12, 1981
Category: Launch
Time: 07:00:03 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Event: NASA launched the first Space Shuttle mission from Cape Kennedy, Florida, using the orbiter Columbia.
Description:

Originally scheduled for launch 10 April 1981, STS 1 was postponed due to a timing skew in the orbiter's general purpose computer system where backup flight software failed to synchronize with the primary avionics software system. STS 1 was then launched 12 April 1981 after a countdown that proceeded on schedule.

Major systems were tested successfully on the first flight of the Space Transportation System (STS, the official name for the Shuttle program). The orbiter sustained tile damage on launch and from the overpressure wave created by the solid rocket boosters. Subsequent modifications to the water sound suppression system eliminated the problem. Sixteen tiles were lost and 148 damaged.

STS 1 ended on 14 April 1981 when Columbia landed on revolution 37 on Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 8,993 feet. Rollout time: 60 seconds. Launch weight: 219,258 pounds. Orbit altitude: 166 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 40.3 degrees. Mission duration: two days, six hours, 20 minutes, 53 seconds. Miles Traveled: 1.074 million. The orbiter was returned to Kennedy Space Center on 28 April 1981.

The flight crew for STS 1 was: John W. Young, Commander; Robert L. Crippen, Pilot.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-1.html

Picture: NASA launched the first Space Shuttle mission from Cape Kennedy, Florida, using the orbiter Columbia."
STS-1 Commander John W. Young (left) and Pilot Robert L. Crippen (right), NASA photo
Source: STS1 photo list
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