Reusable spacecraft : The space shuttle Columbia has a history of returning to Earth from space


In April 1971, an important event took place in the human space mission. On the same day, NASA launched the world’s first reusable spacecraft, Colombia.

It was the first spacecraft to allow astronauts to come and go in space like an airplane. But after several accidents, the program was stopped.

After spending billions of dollars, many problems and last minute delays – the space shuttle Columbia was finally launched on April 1, 1971 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

How reusable spacecraft works?

It looks a lot like an airplane. Equipped with a booster rocket and a huge fuel tank. It was a revolutionary spacecraft. It can be said that this is the beginning of a new chapter in human space travel. The reason is that this vehicle is designed in such a way that it can be reused and used to carry various equipment on the space station. At first there were only two astronauts on this mission. One is commander and veteran John Young, who walks on the moon, and the other is young Robert Kripen.


Columbia’s first two space shuttle astronauts, John Young (left) and Robert Kripen “With just a minute to go, I said to the guy sitting next to me, ‘John, I think we can do it.’ “I think then my heart rate went up to 130. The most important moment of my life.” Then came Columbia.

Two minutes later two burning booster rockets fell from the space shuttle, just as planned. “It was a TS-1 – an experimental device, what we wanted to prove was whether it worked. Our job was to take off, check all the systems in the vehicle, and then start rehearsing to return to Earth safely,” Kripen said. “

Within eight and a half minutes of launch, the space shuttle was traveling at 18,000 miles per hour. After that, the fuel tank attached to the vehicle also fell down. It then entered an orbit 160 miles above the Earth. It orbited the earth 36 times. It took 90 minutes to travel around the world each time.

The history of reusable spacecraft

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