Friday, August 8, 2014

Space Shuttle Columbia

Twenty five years ago today, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off on August 8, 1989 for a five-day mission STS-28. It was the 30th NASA Space Shuttle mission overall, the 4th secret military mission for the U.S. Department of Defense, and the 8th flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. It was also Columbia's first flight since STS-61-C in January 1986, the mission directly preceding the Challenger disaster.

The featured postcard shows Columbia's Crew Insignia for mission STS-4, the 4th NASA Space Shuttle mission overall, and also the 4th flight for Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission, launched on June 27, 1982 and landed a week later on July 4, 1982,  carried numerous scientific payloads and military missile detection systems. The insignia shows the Columbia trailing USA nation's colors in the shape of her flight number 4, representing the fourth and final flight of the test phase. Space Shuttle was officially declared to be operational thereafter.

Columbia was destroyed on February 1, 2003 during the re-entry of the atmosphere at the end of a 16-day multi-disciplinary microgravity and Earth science research mission STS-107.

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