35 Years Ago Today NASA Inaugurated the Shuttle Era

First Launch Credit NASA

First Launch
Credit NASA

The first Space Shuttle launch took place 35 years ago today. Ending the first great “gap” in American crewed spaceflight which began with the conclusion of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975.

The Space Transportation System, with all of its incredible highs and wrenching lows, inaugurated a new era in American spaceflight which is still very much alive in the form of the International Space Station which became the Orbiters’ main purpose in later years, as well as the Space Launch System which may be with us for years to come. And lest we forget, the stunning legacy and the gift that keeps on giving in the Hubble Space Telescope.

Still, it all began with a launch on April 12th, 1981 which in retrospect was a stunningly risky endeavor. Although the first four flights of Columbia were equipped with ejection seats for the two person crew, it was an option famously described as avoiding death by committing suicide.



Posted in: NASA

About the Author:

1 Comment on "35 Years Ago Today NASA Inaugurated the Shuttle Era"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. PK Sink says:

    Yeah, the Shuttle Program sure has been disparaged by a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. But it was an amazing achievement, for all of the reasons that you mentioned. All of the NewSpace companies that are either on the ISS, servicing the ISS, or longing to go to the ISS are standing on the mighty shoulders of the Space Shuttles.

Post a Comment