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Space Shuttle

NASA’s shuttle fleet achieved numerous firsts and opened up space to more people than ever before during the Space Shuttle Program’s 30 years of missions.



Missions Flown


Shuttle Fliers

meet the orbiters

Space Shuttle Atlantis

Flights of Atlantis

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Flights of Endeavour

Space Shuttle Discovery

Flights of Discovery

Space Shuttle Challanger

Space Shuttle Challenger

TOUCHDOWN! -- The Space Shuttle Columbia touches down on lakebed runway 23 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to conclude the first orbital shuttle mission, April 14, 1981.

Space Shuttle Columbia

The last of 13 captive and free-flight tests with the space shuttle prototype Enterprise during the Approach and Landing Tests,

Space Shuttle Enterprise


The Space Shuttle

From the first launch on April 12, 1981 to the final landing on July 21, 2011, NASA's space shuttle fleet flew 135 missions, helped construct the International Space Station and inspired generations. 

NASA’s space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 and continued to set high marks of achievement and endurance through 30 years of missions. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the spacecraft has carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station. The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, ended July 21, 2011 when Atlantis rolled to a stop at its home port, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Learn More About the Orbiters about The Space Shuttle
Space shuttle coming in for a landing
Space shuttle Discovery (STS-31) comes in for a landing on April 29, 1990.

Shuttle Missions

30 Years of Shuttle Missions


STS-9 carried the first Spacelab mission and the first astronaut to represent the European Space Agency.


STS-8 carried Guion Bluford who became the first African-American to fly in space. INSAT-1B, a multipurpose satellite for India which…


STS-7 carried Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space.


STS-6 was the maiden flight of Challenger. STS-6 deployed the first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-1) into orbit.


STS-30's primary payload was the Magellan/Venus radar mapper spacecraft.


STS-29 deployed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite into Earth's orbit.

Featured Story

Retired Space Shuttle Locations

Shuttle Atlantis – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Shuttle Discovery – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Shuttle Endeavour – California Science…

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