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OTD in Space – April 14: 1st Space Shuttle Mission Lands

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On April 14, 1981, the first space shuttle mission returned to Earth after a two-day flight in space. The space shuttle Columbia safely touched down on Rogers dry lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where hundreds of thousands of people showed up to watch. Only two astronauts were on the shuttle: the pilot, John Young, and the commander, Bob Crippen. Since this was the maiden voyage of the space shuttle, the only objective for this mission was to see if the shuttle could safely carry the crew to orbit and bring them back down to Earth. Some anomalies were reported, but Columbia and its crew came home safely. This was the first time NASA landed a spacecraft on wheels, and the success of that landing made the space shuttle Columbia the world's first reusable space vehicle.

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