In Photos: Commemorating 40 years since space shuttle Columbia first launched


The first mission of the space shuttle Columbia, the first shuttle sent into space, was launched 40 years ago from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 12, 1981. Over 20 years, that shuttle completed 28 missions, spent over 300 days in space, carried dozens of astronauts and evolved with technological advancements. Columbia's missions ended February 1, 2003, when seven astronauts died in a tragic accident over Texas upon re-entry. Here's a look at that shuttle's history. (UPI Latest News) More More

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