NASA's space shuttle program in pictures: A tribute

Atlantis from Above


This image from 1996 shows the space shuttle Atlantis as it makes the slow journey to Launch Pad 39A from the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This dramatic view, looking directly down onto the shuttle from atop the Mobile Launcher Platform and crawler-transporter, was taken from the VAB roof approximately 525 feet (160 meters) above the ground.

Discovery in Space


The space shuttle Discovery's cargo bay over Earth's horizon was photographed by one of the seven STS-114 crewmembers as the shuttle approached the International Space Station. Discovery's STS-114 mission was NASA's first return-to-flight mission following the tragic loss of the shuttle Columbia and its astronaut crew. STS-114 launched on July 26, 2005.

Enterprise Flies Free


The space shuttle prototype Enterprise flies free after being released from NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft over Rogers Dry Lakebed during the second of five free flights carried out at the Dryden Flight Research Center, in Edwards, Calif., as part of the shuttle program's Approach and Landing Tests (ALT). The tests were conducted to verify aerodynamics and handling characteristics in preparation for orbital flights with the Space Shuttle Columbia, which began in April 1981.

Challenger Winds through the Fog


The space shuttle Challenger is rolled out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The orbiter cuts through the thick fog as it makes its way to the pad, in preparation for its maiden flight – the STS-6 mission. Challenger launched on its STS-6 flight on April 4, 1983.

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