The first Shuttle flight – in full glory

An absolutely amazing labour of love – someone has pieced together the video and audio for the entire STS-1 flight, and generated stunning graphics to illustrate the mission in real time. Split over 16 episodes, well worth having a look at.

STS-1 was the first space flight I recall in my lifetime, and it was of enormous influence on my future plans – imagine the excitement of a 5 year old space mad boy of the first test launch of a spacecraft with *wings*. I remember watching both the launch and landing on live on RTE (Irish public TV) – spaceflight was big news back then.

STS-1 truly was the ultimate test flight – not one bit of the Shuttle system was previously flown in space unmanned – and Young and Crippen could easily have met a grisly end. It was, however, a remarkable triumph. The Shuttle, despite all its flaws, was a special and remarkable vehicle, and it greatly saddens me to see the remaining Orbiters retired to museums.