Mission: First Shuttle Mission/Shuttle Systems Test Flight
Space Shuttle: Columbia
Launch Pad: 39A
Launched: April 12, 1981 at 7:00:03 a.m. EST
Launch Weight: 219,258 pounds
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: April 14, 1981 at 10:20:57 a.m. PST
Rollout Distance: 8,993 feet
Rollout Time: 60 seconds
Mission Duration: 2 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes, and 53 seconds
Returned to KSC: April 28, 1981
Orbit Altitude: 166 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 40.3 degrees
Miles Traveled: 1.074 million
Image above: STS-1 Crew photo with Commander John W. Young on the left and Pilot Robert L. Crippen on the right. Image Credit: NASA
Demonstrate safe launch into orbit and safe return of the orbiter and crew. Verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle - orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank.
Payloads included the Developmental Flight Instrumentation (DFI) and the Aerodynamic Coefficient Identifications Package (ACIP) pallet containing equipment for recording temperatures, pressures and acceleration levels at various points on the vehicle.
Major systems tested successfully on first flight of Space Transportation System. Orbiter sustained tile damage on launch and from overpressure wave created by the solid rocket boosters. Subsequent modifications to the water sound suppression system eliminated the problem. A total of sixteen tiles were lost and 148 tiles were damaged.
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