Kennedy News

Dennis Armstrong
Kennedy Space Center
(321) 867-2468

June 16, 2003
RELEASE : 44-03
"History Of Columbia" Webcast To Feature Former Astronaut Bob Crippen
On June 20, space enthusiasts with questions about the history and legacy of Shuttle Columbia will have their questions answered during a live NASA Direct! webcast featuring former astronaut Robert Crippen, the orbiter's first pilot.

The special webcast, "History of Columbia," will highlight the background of NASA's flagship orbiter and the accomplishments it achieved in its 22-year flight history. Columbia, which flew 28 space missions during its lifetime, is credited with proving that NASA could create a reusable space transportation system, rather than single-use capsules used during the United States’ earlier space programs.

Crippen piloted Columbia during the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle program, STS-1, in April 1981. He went on to command three additional Shuttle flights: STS-7, STS-41C and STS-41G. In addition to his distinguished astronaut career, he served in several key management positions within NASA, including director, Space Shuttle, at NASA Headquarters from 1990 to 1992 and director of the Kennedy Space Center from 1992 to 1995.

The "History of Columbia" webcast will begin at 11 a.m. EDT. A link to the webcast will be available from the NASA Direct! home page at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/nasadirect/index.htm. Questions for Crippen are welcome and may be submitted to the Question Board at http://webcast.ksc.nasa.gov/vidapp/?event=28 through 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 19.

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