Portal:Spaceflight/Selected article/Week 16 2008

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Launch of Columbia on STS-1.

Space Shuttle Columbia (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-102) was the first spaceworthy space shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. Its first mission, STS-1, lasted from 12 April to 14 April 1981. On 1 February 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas, on its 28th mission, killing all seven crew members.

Construction began on Columbia in 1975 primarily in Palmdale, California. Columbia was named after the Boston-based sloop Columbia captained by American Robert Gray

The first flight of Columbia (STS-1) was commanded by John Young (a space veteran from the Gemini and Apollo eras) and piloted by Robert Crippen (more...)