First Operational Shuttle Mission, 1982

A fine Veteran’s Day to you all …

Thirty years ago today — November 11, 1982 — the Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center on the first truly operational mission of the shuttle program.

(Satellite release from STS-5. NASA image.)

Mission STS-5 astronauts Vance D. Brand, Robert F. Overmyer, Joseph P. Allen, and William B. Lenoir carried two commercial communications satellites to orbit and released them from the shuttle’s payload bay. Both SBS 3, belonging to Satellite Business Systems, and Telesat Canada’s Anik C3 were successfully launched during the mission. The shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base five days after its launch.

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