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John A. Weeks III
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US Manned Spacecraft History And Photography

The Space Shuttle Survivors

Space Transportation System

Space Shuttle Spacecraft

The Space Shuttle was designed to be a reusable vehicle providing routine access to space. While it has not lived up to its design goals, it did fly 8 to 10 flights a year and supported both the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station. While each orbiter was expected to fly 100 missions, the program itself flew only 135 flights over its 30 year operating span of 1981 to 2011. Shuttle missions were never as routine as once hoped, but each mission was spectacular in its own right starting with an amazing light and sound show on launch, and those signature double sonic booms on landing. Those spectacular missions, however, came with a high price as two flights ended in accidents resulting in the loss of vehicle and loss of crew. In the end, high costs and safety concerns doomed the program. I cannot help but think that a piece of America died the day that the shuttle program was canceled, leaving our nation with no direct access to space for human crews.

Space Shuttle Survivors

S/N Spacecraft Name State City Location
STA-095 SAIL TX Houston Johnson Space Center
OV-098 Pathfinder AL Huntsville US Space & Rocket Center
MPTA-098 MPTA MS Stennis NASA Stennis Center
OV-099 Challenger FL Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
OV-101 Enterprise NY New York Intrepid Sea, Air, Space Museum
OV-102 Columbia FL Titusville Kennedy Space Center
OV-103 Discovery VA Chantilly Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center (NASM)
OV-104 Atlantis FL Titusville Kennedy Space Center
OV-105 Endeavour CA Los Angeles California Science Center
Note—click on Serial Number to see a photo of each spacecraft.

Space Shuttle Flight Statistics

S/N Spacecraft Name First Flight Date Number Of Flights Status
STA-095 SAIL N/A 0 Active
OV-098 Pathfinder N/A 0 Retired
MPTA-098 MPTA N/A 0 In Storage
OV-099 Challenger 4/4/83
10 Lost 1/28/86
OV-101 Enterprise 8/12/77 5 (Drop Tests) Retired
OV-102 Columbia 4/12/81
28 Lost 2/1/03
OV-103 Discovery 8/30/84
39 Retired
OV-104 Atlantis 10/3/85
33 Retired
OV-105 Endeavour 5/7/92
25 Retired
Note—click on Serial Number to see a photo of each spacecraft.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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