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STS-1
Part of STS Family

STS-1

STS-1
Detailed drawing of STS-1 Columbia
Credit: NASA

First rocketplane flight to orbit. First flight of space shuttle. The only time a new spacecraft was launched manned on its first flight. Many thought it would be a disaster.

AKA: Columbia. Launched: 1981-04-12. Returned: 1981-04-14. Number crew: 2 . Duration: 2.26 days.

First flight of Space Transportation System (aka Space Shuttle).. Payloads: Development Flight Instrumentation and Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package.

Orbits of Earth: 36. Distance traveled: 1,729,347 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 99,453 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 88,662 kg. Payload to Orbit: 4,909 kg. Payload Returned: 4,909 kg. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 339 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 1,844 m. Landing Rollout: 2,741 m.

NASA Official Mission Narrative

Mission Name: STS-1 (1)
COLUMBIA (1)
Pad 39-A (13)
1st Shuttle mission
1st Flight OV-102

Crew:
John W. Young (5), Commander
Robert L. Crippen (1), Pilot Backup

Crew:
Joseph H. Engle (0), Commander
Richard H. Truly (0), Pilot

Milestones:
03/24/79 - Arrival from Dryden
03/25/79 - Move to OPF-1 (610 days)
11/24/80 - Move to VAB-3 (35 days)
12/29/80 - Move to PAD-39A (105 days)
02/20/81 - Flight Readiness Firing (FRF)
04/12/81 - Launch
04/14/81 - Landing
04/28/81 - Return to KSC (14 days)

Payload:
DFI,ACIP
Mission Objectives:
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.

Launch:
April 12, 1981, 7:00:03 a.m, EST. Launch April 10 postponed due to timing skew in orbiter's general purpose computer system. Backup flight software failed to synchronize with primary avionics software system. Countdown proceeded on schedule April 12. First 24 Shuttle liftoffs - STS-1 through 61-C - were from Pad 39-A. Launch Weight: 219,258 lbs.
Orbit:
Altitude: 166nm
Inclination: 40.3 degrees
Orbits: 37
Duration: 2 Days, 6 hours, 20 min, 53 seconds
Distance: 1,074,567 miles

Hardware:
SRB: BI-001
SRM: 001SW(SPM)
ET : 2/SWT-1
MLP : 1
SSME-1: SN-2007
SSME-2: SN-2006
SSME-3: SN-2005

Landing:
April 14, 1981, 10:20:57 a.m. PST, Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Rollout distance: 8,993 feet. Rollout time: 60 seconds. Orbiter returned to KSC April 28, 1981. Landing Weight: 194,184 lbs.

Mission Highlights:
Primary mission objectives of the maiden flight were to check out the overall Shuttle system, accomplish a safe ascent into orbit and to return to Earth for a safe landing. All of these objectives were met successfully and the Shuttle's worthiness as a space vehicle was verified.
Major systems tested successfully on first flight of Space Transportation System. Orbiter sustained tile damage on launch and from overpressure wave created by solid rocket boosters. Subsequent modifications to water sound suppression system eliminated problem. Sixteen tiles lost and 148 damaged.
The only payload carried on the mission was a Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) package which contained sensors and measuring devices to record orbiter performance and the stresses that occurred during launch, ascent, orbital flight, descent and landing.
Post-flight inspection of the Columbia revealed that an overpressure wave which occurred when the SRB ignited resulted in the loss of 16 heat shield tiles and damage to 148 others. In all other respects, however, Columbia came through the flight with flying colors, and it was to fly the next four Shuttle missions.
Columbia was returned to Kennedy Space Center from California on April 28 atop its 747 carrier aircraft.


More at: STS-1.

Family: Manned spaceflight. People: Crippen, Young. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Columbia. Projects: STS. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral. Agency: NASA, NASA Houston.
Photo Gallery

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Credit: www.spacefacts.de


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STS 1 Shuttle Columbia firing main engines
Credit: NASA


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Launch view of the Columbia for the STS-1 mission, April 12, 1981
Credit: NASA


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Launch view of the Columbia for the STS-1 mission, April 12, 1981
Credit: NASA


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Launch view of the Columbia for the STS-1 mission, April 12, 1981
Credit: NASA


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Tracking views from the IGOR Tracking camera of the STS-1 SRB separation
Credit: NASA


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Tracking views from the IGOR Tracking camera of the STS-1 SRB separation
Credit: NASA


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Tracking views from the IGOR Tracking camera of the STS-1 SRB separation
Credit: NASA


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Selected frames of the SRB separation during STS-1 launch path
Credit: NASA


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Selected frames of the SRB separation during STS-1 launch path
Credit: NASA


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Selected frames of the SRB separation during STS-1 launch path
Credit: NASA


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Selected frames of the SRB separation during STS-1 launch path
Credit: NASA


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In-flight activities of Young and Crippen in the cockpit and middeck STS-1
Credit: NASA


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In-flight activities of Young and Crippen in the cockpit and middeck STS-1
Credit: NASA


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In-flight activities of Young and Crippen in the cockpit and middeck STS-1
Credit: NASA


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Yemen
Credit: NASA


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Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia on approach for landing Edwards Air Force Base
Credit: NASA


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Aerial ground views of the Columbia sitting on the Lakebed Runway
Credit: NASA



1981 April 12 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • STS-1 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Crippen, Young. Payload: Columbia F01 / DFI. Mass: 4,909 kg (10,822 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Crippen, Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-1. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 2.26 days. Decay Date: 1981-04-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 12399 . COSPAR: 1981-034A. Apogee: 251 km (155 mi). Perigee: 240 km (140 mi). Inclination: 40.3000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. First flight of Space Transportation System (aka Space Shuttle).. Payloads: Development Flight Instrumentation and Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification Package..

1981 April 13 - .
  • STS-1 - Wakeup Song: Blast-Off Columbia - . Flight: STS-1. "Blast-Off Columbia" Roy McCall.

1981 April 14 - .
  • STS-1 - Wakeup Song: Reveille - . Flight: STS-1. "Reveille" ; preceded by comic tape with voices of Houston DJs Hudson and Harrigan kidding Young and Crippen..

1981 April 14 - .

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