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The first space shuttle takes off from a launch pad. White clouds billow upward, obscuring the rightmost third of the image. Bright flames pour out from the rockets; in contrast, the rest of the image is dim.

The First Space Shuttle

The new era in space flight began on April 12, 1981. That is when the first Space Shuttle mission (STS-1) was launched. The Marshall Space Flight Center developed the propulsion system for the Space Shuttle. This photograph depicts the launch of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia crewed with two astronauts, John Young and Robert Crippen.

Image Credit: NASA

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