Re-Live the First Shuttle Flight, 30 Years Ago

Here’s footage from the first space shuttle flight, 30 years ago today on April 12, 1981. One of the big differences you’ll notice is that NASA used to paint the external fuel tank white to match the space shuttle. However, they found they could save about 450 kg (1,000 lbs) by not using paint. Space shuttle Columbia was also outfitted with two ejection seats (which is why there was only a crew of two), but after four flights, NASA made the decision to take out the ejection seats, and to go with a “shirt sleeve” environment inside the shuttle.
Continue reading “Re-Live the First Shuttle Flight, 30 Years Ago”