Aug 13 2016

The Space Shuttle: A Remarkable Flying Machine – 1981 NASA Film

This film, produced in 1981, follows the first flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-1, April 12th to 14th of 1981. The video tells the general story of the 4 day mission, while also going over details on the general operations of the then new Space Shuttle.

One of the best things about this film is the detailed footage of the launch and on orbit operations of the orbiter. While obviously higher quality footage of the later launches exists, this first launch was a major historic event in all ways it could be, and to have it as well documented as it was, even then, is impressive, and amazing to look back on and think, this was 35 years ago, with the Shuttle flying, off and on, for the next 30 years.

Of course, sadly, the Columbia itself is long gone, but the record of this flight, as it has been put, “The Greatest Test Flight”, lives on.

Enjoy the video, and I apologize for the lateness of today’s Space Saturday. Things happen sometimes.

 

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