- COLUMBIA (1)
- Pad 39-A (13)
- 1st Shuttle mission
- 1st Flight OV-102
- John W. Young (5), Commander
- Robert L. Crippen (1), Pilot
- Joseph H. Engle (0), Commander
- Richard H. Truly (0), Pilot
- 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)
Click here for Additional Info on STS-1
- 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.
- 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.
- Altitude: 166nm
- Inclination: 40.3 degrees
- Orbits: 37
- Duration: 2 Days, 6 hours, 20 min, 53 seconds
- Distance: 1,074,567 miles
- SRB: BI-001
- SRM: 001SW(SPM)
- ET : 2/SWT-1
- MLP : 1
- SSME-1: SN-2007
- SSME-2: SN-2006
- SSME-3: SN-2005
- 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.
KSC Home Mission Index
Next Mission STS-2
- 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
- Major systems tested successfully on first flight of Space Trans-
portation System. Orbiter sustained tile damage on launch and
from overpressure wave created by solid rocket boosters. Sub
sequent 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.
Last Updated Friday June 29 11:21:02 EDT 2001
Jim Dumoulin (email@example.com)