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