The final launch.
Today marks the sad nine year anniversary of the launch last flight of space shuttle Columbia, STS-107, for a 17-day mission featuring numerous microgravity experiments.
16 January 2012
5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Space Shuttle is GO!
Forty, yes 4-0, years ago today President Nixon announced his approval for NASA to develop the Space Shuttle. He announced that he was asking NASA to develop “an entirely new type of space transportation system designed to help transform the space frontier of the 1970s into familiar territory, easily accessible for human endeavor in the 1980s and ‘90s.”
This partially reusable system launched for the first time in April 1981 with Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) and kept on going all the way until the sad day in July 2011 with the final mission (STS-135) using Space Shuttle Atlantis. All in all six different orbiters have flown for NASA over the period, with five of them venturing into space (Enterprise - the test orbiter which never flew in space, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour) and logging more than 500 million miles between them - Madness!
Image of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) from http://astroprofspage.com/archives/1063 - a great site with loads of information!
05 January 2012