STS-1: Columbia’s first flight

ColumbiaSpace Shuttle Columbia lifts off on the shuttle system’s first flight into a space, with Commander John Young (a Gemini/Apollo veteran) and Robert Crippen aboard, the first two-man American crew since the Gemini program’s final flight in 1966. It’s a true test flight in every sense of the word – every previous American manned spacecraft had been flown unmanned first to verify safety and spaceworthiness, making the shuttle’s first flight a case where everything has to go perfectly the first time.