The First Space Shuttle Launch
The first space shuttle mission, STS-1, launched on April 12, 1981, with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen onboard space shuttle Columbia.
On April 12, 1981, astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen launched into space on space shuttle Columbia on the STS-1 mission — NASA's first mission aboard a reusable spacecraft. STS-1 was NASA's first manned mission since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. In this image, the two solid rocket boosters are aglow after being jettisoned.
John Young: STS-1
STS-1 commander John Young at the controls aboard space shuttle Columbia during the first mission of NASA’s winged orbiter program.
The First Shuttle Astronauts
Columbia's gutsy twosome on the maiden voyage of a shuttle orbiter: (L) Commander, John Young and Pilot, Robert Crippen. The two astronauts launched into history books as the crew of NASA's first shuttle mission, STS-1, in April 1981.
First Space Shuttle Astronauts in 1981
The astronauts who flew NASA's first two space shuttle missions, Robert Crippen, Richard Truly, John Young and Joe Engle, as seen in 1981. Crippen, Truly and Engle will reunite in Houston on Sept. 17 for a celebration of their flights’ 35th anniversaries.
Passing the Torch
Astronaut John Young (foreground) and STS-1 pilot Bob Crippen, NASA's first space shuttle crew, pose with the crew of STS-135, the last astronauts to fly on a shuttle mission, in 2011.
Shuttle Astronaut Pioneer
John Young, commander of the first space shuttle mission, poses with his STS-1 pilot Bob Crippen (to Young's lefT) and the four-person crew of STS-135, the last shuttle crew, in 2011.