September 16, 2021

April 12 marks 60 years since Gagarin’s spaceflight, 40 years since shuttle debut

April 12, 2021

Sixty years ago Monday, a 27-year-old Russian test pilot named Yuri Gagarin strapped into a Vostok capsule in Central Asia and rode into orbit atop a launcher derived from a Soviet nuclear missile, becoming the first human to travel into the void of space. Twenty years later, in 1981, the era of reusable spacecraft dawned with the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.

April 14, 1981: Landing of Columbia on STS-1

April 14, 2016

VIDEO: The winged spaceship Columbia returned to Earth with a pinpoint landing at Edwards Air Force Base on this day 35 years ago, concluding the maiden flight of the space shuttle.

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