The NASA Shuttle Program


First Launch Date: October 3, 1985

Mission Highlights: Atlantis’s Maiden Flight was the second dedicated to the Department of Defense. Later, missions included the launch of the Galileo Interplanetary probe to Jupiter in October 1989 and with the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) as its primary payload in April 1991.
The last mission of Atlantis was also the last flight of the shuttle program. When it touched down for the final time on July 8, 2011, the 30 year Nasa Shuttle Program came to an end. You can see the Atlantis Shuttle Orbiter at the Kennedy Space Visitor Complex in Florida.



First Launch Date: May 7, 1992

Mission Highlights: Endeavour’s first mission resulted in many firsts for the Shuttle Program: The first EVA (extravehicular activity) involving 3 Astronauts, the first mission to have 4 EVA’s, the first and second longest EVA’s to date, and the first use of a drag chute during an orbiter landing.



First Launch Date: August 30, 1984

Mission Highlights: Discovery milestones include the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope in April 1990, the launching of the Ulysses spacecraft to explore the sun’s polar regions in October 1990, and the deployment of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in September 1991.



First Launch Date: April 4, 1983

Mission Highlights: The first mission saw the first space walk of the Space Shuttle Program. In subsequent missions, the Challenger orbiter launched the first American woman into space and was the first to carry two US Female Astronauts.



First Launch Date: April 12, 1981

Mission Highlights: Primary mission objectives of the 2 day maiden flight was to check out the overall shuttle system, accomplish a safe ascent into orbit and return to earth for a safe landing. All these objectives were met successfully and the shuttle’s worthiness as a space vehicle were verified