Last Shuttle Shakedown Flight

Thirty years ago today — June 27, 1982 — the Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center on the final R&D flight for the shuttle fleet.


(President Reagan welcomed the STS-4 crew back from space. NASA image from Wikimedia Commons.)

On mission STS-4, astronauts Thomas K. “Ken” Mattingly and Henry W. “Hank” Hartsfield conducted a number of experiments in addition to refining shuttle operating procedures. The mission also carried a classified payload for the Department of Defense.

Mattingly and Hartsfield landed the shuttle on July 4th at Edwards AFB, where they were greeted by President and Mrs. Reagan.

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