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President Nixon and James Fletcher Discuss the Space Shuttle

This diagram illustrates the Space Shuttle mission sequence. The Space Shuttle was approved as a national program in 1972 and developed through the 1970s. Part spacecraft and part aircraft, the Space Shuttle orbiter, the brain and the heart of the Space Transportation System (STS), required several technological advances, including thousands of insulating tiles able to stand the heat of reentry over the course of many missions, as well as sophisticated engines that could be used again and again without being thrown away. The airplane-like orbiter has three main engines, that burn liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the large external tank, the single largest structure in the Shuttle. Attached to the tank are two solid rocket boosters that provide the vehecile with most of the thrust needed for liftoff. Two minutes into the flight, the spent solids drop into the ocean to be recovered and refurbished for reuse, while the orbiter engines continue burning until approximately 8 minutes into the flight. After the mission is completed, the orbiter lands on a runway like an airplane. n/a

A ground-to-air view of the space shuttle Challenger during liftoff from launch complex 39A at 7:33 a.m. EDT. Aboard the Challenger for the seventh launch of the Space Transportation System are CMDR Bob Crippen, pilot Frederick H. Hauck, and mission specialists Sally Ride, John M. Fabian and Dr. Norman Thagard

GEN Thomas Stafford, left, accompanies Secretary of the Air Force John C. Stetson as they tour the base. A Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle is in the background

BLDG. 9A - EGRESS TRAINING - JSC

Portraits - STS-1

A view of facilities in the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

An overall view of the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

A view of a domelike facility in the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

A view of a flame bucket in the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

A view of a flame bucket in the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

A view of a launch pad rolling track in the Space Transportation System (STS) under construction

A night view of the Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia on Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

A night view of the Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia on Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is being prepared for its first flight

The Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia on Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

The Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia is being moved on the mobile launcher platform from the vehicle assembly building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39 before its first flight

The Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia aboard the mobile launcher platform as it arrives at Launch Pad 39 after leaving the vehicle assembly building (VAB). The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

The Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia aboard the mobile launcher platform as it arrives at Launch Pad 39 at dusk. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

The Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia, with access arms in place, at Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

Personnel at the Space Transportation System (STS) Launch Control Center prepare for the launch of the shuttle Columbia

The Goodyear Blimp passes near the Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle. The shuttle, with access arms in place, is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

AN aerial view of the Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia aboard the mobile launcher platform (MLP) as it leaves the vehicle assembly building (VAB) and heads toward Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

AN aerial view of the Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle Columbia aboard the mobile launcher platform (MLP) as it leaves the vehicle assembly building (VAB) and heads toward Launch Pad 39. The shuttle is undergoing preparations prior to its maiden flight

Aerial view of Receiving, Inspection, and Storage Facility, Space Transportation System, being constructed

Aerial view of Space Launch Complex No. 6, Space Transportation System, being constructed

Aerial view of Space Launch Complex No. 6, Space Transportation System, being constructed

Aerial view of Space Launch Complex No. 6, Space Transportation System, being constructed

S02-02-876 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly reviews checklist and monitors CCTV screens on Aft Flight Deck

S02-02-887 - STS-002 - Closeups of bubbles forming in tea beverage containers on aft flight deck

S02-02-888 - STS-002 - Closeups of bubbles forming in tea beverage containers on aft flight deck

S02-02-861 - STS-002 - Commander Engle floats on Aft Flight Deck in front of the Onorbit Station

S02-02-886 - STS-002 - Forward flight deck Commanders and Pilots Stations

S02-02-865 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly on middeck

S02-02-866 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly on middeck

S02-02-872 - STS-002 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

S02-02-881 - STS-002 - Commander Engle exercises on middeck using exerciser restraint harness

S02-02-877 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly reviews checklist and monitors CCTV screens on Aft Flight Deck

S02-02-871 - STS-002 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

S02-02-863 - STS-002 - Forward flight deck Pilots Station

S02-02-867 - STS-002 - Commander Engle fills beverage container using water dispenser kit water gun

S02-02-870 - STS-002 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

STS-1 Launch

S02-02-853 - STS-002 - Aft Flight Deck Mission Station and Onorbit Station documentation

S02-02-878 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly reviews checklist and monitors CCTV screens on Aft Flight Deck

S02-02-880 - STS-002 - Commander Engle exercises on middeck using exerciser restraint harness

S02-02-885 - STS-002 - Forward flight deck Commanders and Pilots Stations

S02-02-873 - STS-002 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

S02-02-889 - STS-002 - Closeups of bubbles forming in tea beverage containers on aft flight deck

S02-02-856 - STS-002 - Aft Flight Deck Onorbit Station documentation

S02-02-864 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly on middeck

S02-02-868 - STS-002 - Commander Engle fills beverage container using water dispenser kit water gun

S02-02-869 - STS-002 - Pilot Truly waves to camera on middeck

S02-02-884 - STS-002 - Commander Engle exercises on middeck using exerciser restraint harness

LAUNCH - STS-1 - KSC

Space Transportation System-1 space shuttle Columbia lifts off from Complex 39A

DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER, CALIF. - Orbiter Columbia "flares out" for a landing at Rogers dry lake Runway 23, successfully completing the historic first flight for the Space Shuttle. Astronauts John Young, Commander, and Robert Crippen, Pilot, crewed the spacecraft for the first full test of the Space Transportation System. STS-1, known as a shuttle systems test flight, seeks to demonstrate safe launch into orbit and safe return of the orbiter and crew and verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle -- orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank. KSC-81PC0425

The orbiter Columbia sits on Rogers Drylake Runway 23 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center after its return from Earth orbit. Columbia's landing completed the first full test of the Space Transportation System

S03-24-200 - STS-003 - Payload bay (PLB) door opening / closing procedures

S03-26-255 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma prepare meal and eat on middeck

S05-02-070 - STS-005 - SBS-C satellite sunshield opens during pre-deployment operations

S04-28-325 - STS-004 - Forward flight deck Pilots Stations

S03-20-075 - STS-003 - Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102, aft RCS engine thrusting

S03-19-023 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton operates RMS controls on Aft Flight Deck Onorbit Station

S03-26-256 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma prepare meal and eat on middeck

S03-25-233 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma stows trash bags in middeck CO2 Absorber Stowage volume

S04-23-148 - STS-004 - Earth Observations

S04-24-163 - STS-004 - Water dump from Columbia,Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102

S03-19-024 - STS-003 - Deployed RMS showing operational elbow and wrist joints

S03-19-016 - STS-003 - Dark PLB and tail against background of Earth limb with atmospheric glow

S03-21-089 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma works with EEVT experiment on aft middeck

S03-31-296 - STS-003 - Earth limb terminator at sunrise

S05-02-061 - STS-005 - SBS-C satellite mounted on ASE and covered by sunshield in payload bay (PLB)

S03-21-108 - STS-003 - PDP grappled by RMS is maneuvered above payload bay then restowed on pallet

S03-26-259 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton prepare meal and eat on middeck

S04-28-312 - STS-004 - Commander Mattingly prepares meal on middeck

S03-26-278 - STS-003 - Vertical tail,OMS pods,payload bay (PLB) with sunrise in background

S03-25-222 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma sleeps on aft flight deck

S03-25-220 - STS-003 - Columbia,Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102,RCS engines thrusting

S03-19-011 - STS-003 - Earth observations of Pacific Ocean and west coast of North America

S05-10-369 - STS-005 - PLBDs close over ASEs with open spacecraft sunshields

S05-05-171 - STS-005 - PLB with ASE sunshield,left wing tip,OMS pods,vertical tail

S04-24-177 - STS-004 - Treadmill attached to middeck floor

S03-23-184 - STS-003 - PDP on OSS-1 pallet is grappled by RMS end effector

S03-26-279 - STS-003 - Vertical tail, OMS pods, payload bay (PLB) with sunrise in background

S03-26-276 - STS-003 - Vertical tail and OMS pods with sunrise in background

S03-19-019 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton reviews checklist on Aft Flight Deck Onorbit Station

S03-24-191 - STS-003 - Payload bay (PLB) door opening / closing procedures

S03-19-057 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton reviews checklist on Aft Flight Deck Onorbit Station

S04-28-310 - STS-004 - Commander Mattingly prepares meal on middeck

S04-24-182 - STS-004 - CFES fluid systems module and separation column on middeck

S03-25-221 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma on Aft Flight Deck operates camera mounted in window W9

S03-24-206 - STS-003 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

S05-03-091 - STS-005 - Dark payload bay (PLB),OMS pods,and vertical tail against Earth's surface

S03-23-174 - STS-003 - Commander Lousma examines Insect Flight Motion Study

S03-22-130 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton reviews FDF checklist at forward flight deck pilots station

S04-24-176 - STS-004 - Forward middeck locker documentation

S04-24-162 - STS-004 - Water dump from Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102

S03-25-250 - STS-003 - Overall views of payload bay taken from the aft flight deck viewing windows

S03-24-210 - STS-003 - Pilot Fullerton works at aft flight deck onorbit station window W9

S03-22-141 - STS-003 - Forward and Aft Flight Deck documentation