NASA celebrates first shuttle flight

April 7, 2006
NASA Space Shuttle

NASA has scheduled a series of events this month to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the nation's first space shuttle flight.

On April 12, 1981, shuttle Columbia lifted off with Commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen. Their mission, known as STS-1, is being remembered as the boldest test flight in history.

STS-1 crew members addressed Kennedy Space Center workers Thursday afternoon.

On the actual anniversary date, National Aeronautics and Space Administration head Michael Griffin will join Young and Crippen at Space Center Houston to honor their mission and all those who made it possible. Although the event will not be open to the public, it will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility, at Wallops Island, Va., will unveil a shuttle sculpture April 14. Wallops provided range-safety support during the STS-1 launch and tracked the shuttle during the mission.

NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi will test-fire a space shuttle main engine April 21 to mark both the STS-1 anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the first rocket engine static test-firing.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Image: July 23, 1999, Chandra X-ray Observatory awaits deployment

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