Photos: Space shuttle launches 25 years ago

Photos: Space shuttle launches 25 years ago

Summary: On April 12, 1981, an untested space shuttle Columbia lifted off and began a new era of space exploration.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • first landing

    It was a "happening" in 1981. After 36 orbits and 55 hours in space, the crew landed the Columbia at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first flight was primarily used to test systems and pave the way for more shuttle flights--114 and still counting.

  • refurbishing

    Throughout the years, the shuttles have been rebuilt and upgraded many times. Here are astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen at one of the original Columbia control panels.

  • new cockpit

    First used for a 2000 mission, a rebuilt glass cockpit, complete with 11 full-color flat-panel screens, replaced the old dials and gizmos. The new LCD displays offer many advantages over the older devices, including better viewing angles, better backup capabilities and less power consumption.

Topic: Nasa / Space

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