STS-1: The First Shuttle Landing

Before John Young and Robert Crippens STS-1 mission in April 1981, no astronauts had ever landed a spaceship on a runway. In their postflight briefing, Young (the first voice in this clip) and pilot Crippen describe their first-time return of a shuttle from orbit, during which the vehicle executed a series of S-turns, or roll reversals, like a skier slaloming downhill to manage speed. (5:55)

Latest Videos

Preview thumbnail for video'Chris Hadfield On the Asteroid Threat
Chris Hadfield On the Asteroid Threat (6:44)
Preview thumbnail for video'Excerpt:
Excerpt: "A Cruise to the Stars" (13:54)
Preview thumbnail for video'STS-1: The First Shuttle Landing Now Playing
STS-1: The First Shuttle Landing (5:55)
Preview thumbnail for video'Intelsat Rescue
Intelsat Rescue (5:28)
Preview thumbnail for video'STS-51A: Life on a Small Spaceship
STS-51A: Life on a Small Spaceship (3:54)
Preview thumbnail for video'To Space and BackTrailer
To Space and BackTrailer (2:01)
Preview thumbnail for video'SOFIA Opens Its Door
SOFIA Opens Its Door (1:41)
Preview thumbnail for video'NASA Lifting Body Crash, 1967
NASA Lifting Body Crash, 1967 (1:42)
Preview thumbnail for video'Flight of the Pongsats
Flight of the Pongsats (0:40)