Today is the 42nd anniversary of the 1st Space Shuttle launch in 1981

HOUSTON – Today, April 12, is the anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981.

In the early morning hours of April 12, 1981, NASA launched its first Space Transportation System, or space shuttle, mission, carrying astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen into orbit.

Mission Commander John Youn had already flown in space four times, including a walk on the Moon in 1972. Bob Crippen, the pilot, was a Navy test pilot who went on to command three future shuttle missions.

But nothing either man had done or would do was quite like this.

America had not launched a human into space in six years, and to that point, every crewed space flight had followed the same basic design: put a capsule on top of a rocket, strap in the crew, fire the engines, and go.

After the mission, only the crew capsule – which wasn’t reused – would return, according to NASA.

On Wednesday KPRC 2 News spoke with Bill Moon who was a part of the launch team for space shuttle 1 and 2 missions.

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