|WikiProject Spaceflight||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
The article presently says Columbia was launched from Kennedy Space Center at 11:00 am EST, on 22 March 1982, the planned launch date but the quoted reference does not support the assertion that 22 March was "the planned launch date". I have personal experience to the contrary because I was present at the Cape on 21 March 1982 for the launch and learned that it had been delayed 24 hours which my wife and I used to visit Disney World for the first time. The mission launched the following day.
The landing demonstrated that the Shuttle could land in the desert, but sand damaged the orbiter.
But according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-1 , Columbia landed in a dry lake bed at it's first mission. It looks like sand in the picture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Columbia_landing_on_Rogers_dry_lake.triddle.jpg
- The landing itself wasn't damaging, but the aftermath was. The "sand" at White Sands is gypsum dust, which got everywhere inside the orbiter; when it was flown back to Florida, where it's humid, the dust got wet... and when you get gypsum wet, it basically turns into cement. It took a lot of effort to get all this crud out of Columbia - indeed, some technicians claimed that you could still find occasional bits of grit worked into corners right up to her final flight. The dust at Edwards and the like is, well, just sand - it doesn't pose anything like as much of a headache to get out. Shimgray 21:07, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
- the sentence makes it sound as though edwards AFB is not in the middle of the desert. perhaps it can be phrased another way? --G0zer 05:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Video record shows that Columbia almost crashed during landing. Some source said that pilot did throw up in the flight deck during reentry. Any detailed information?--Astrowikizhang 14:30, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
It said that sand damaged the shuttle, but no, it didn't have a near crash or anything, as far as I know about the landing. They didn't land any other shuttle at White Sands ever since.
A video of the landing (and discussion of it) available here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1140&posts=45&start=1 220.127.116.11 11:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Spring is the windy season in southern New Mexico. My family and I went out to see the shuttle (as part of a public tour) as it was being prepared for mounting on top of the 747. The day we went out happened to be one of our infamous high-wind, low-visibility, blowing sand days, which brings up the legitimate question of how much of the gypsum sand entered the orbiter during landing vs. during the windstorms in the following days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 01:26, 3 January 2010 (UTC)