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Lecture: A History of the Space Shuttle Program
March 14 @ 18:00 - 20:30FREE
On April 12, 1981, Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen lifted off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia ushering in a new era for the U.S. space program. Designed to lower the cost of flying into space, the space shuttle was the world’s first reusable spacecraft. The space shuttle era ended with the final flight of Atlantis in July 2011, after 35 years of operation, 135 flights, more than 1300 days in space, almost 530 million miles traveled, and more than 3 million pounds delivered to orbit. The shuttle system was an engineering marvel, a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of its designers and builders.
Yet, from an operational standpoint, the shuttle never lived up to the dreams and expectations of its proponents and left a mixed legacy as a result of many space firsts, great successes and two devastating tragedies. Mr. Dicht’s presentation will guide us through the development of the shuttle, with its origins as a follow-on to the Apollo program. He will touch on the politics and economics of the time and their impact on the shuttle design and will also describe several of the engineering challenges that in many ways were more difficult than going to the moon.
For more information and to register, click Space Shuttle Program