Space Shuttle prior to mision STS-3, 1982.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The Crawler Transporter, carrying the Shuttle on its mobile launch platform, moving into position on Launch Pad 39A on its way to 'hard down', or final position, at the Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral, Florida. This third Space Shuttle test flight, carrying astronauts Jack Lousma and Charles Fullerton in the Orbiter Columbia, was launched on 22nd March 1982 and spent eight days in orbit. The Space Shuttle, the world's first partially reusable launch vehicle, first flew on 12 April 1981 and has been used for all America's manned space misions ever since. Columbia was the first of the Shuttle fleet to fly, and succesfully completed 28 misions before being lost, together with its crew of seven, on re-entry over Texas on 1st February 2003.