Mission Insignia
Mission Statistics
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch:April 12, 1981
6:00:03 a.m. CST (12:00:03 UTC)
Landing:April 14, 1981
12:20:57 p.m. CST (18:20:57 UTC)
Edwards AFB, Runway 23
Duration: 2 days, 6 hours,
20 minutes, 53 seconds
Orbit Altitude: 166 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 40.3 degrees
Orbits: 36
Miles Traveled: 1.074 million
Crew photo

Crew members Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young pose in ejection escape suits (EES) with small model of space shuttle.

The first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1, launched April 12, 1981, returned April 14. Space Shuttle Columbia orbited the earth 36 times in this 54.5 hour mission.

Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida to begin the first shuttle mission, STS-1. The primary mission objectives for STS-1 were to accomplish a safe ascent into orbit, check out all the systems on the space shuttle and to return to Earth for a safe landing at Edwards AFB in California. All of these objectives were met successfully.

The main payload carried on STS-1 was a Development Flight Instrumentation package, which contained sensors and measuring devices to record orbiter performance and the stresses that occurred during launch, ascent, orbital flight, descent and landing.

Postflight inspection of Columbia revealed that an overpressure wave, which occurred when the solid rocket boosters ignited, resulted in the loss of 16 heat shield tiles and damage to 148 others.

Table of contents
1 Crew
2 Mission insignia
3 External links


The crew of STS-2 did serve as backup for this mission
  • Backup-Commander: Joe Engle
  • Backup-Pilot: Richard Truly

Mission insignia

The art work for the official mission insignia was done by artist Robert McCall.

External links

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