Around 4:00 AM today (MDT), the Space Shuttle Atlantis returned to Earth from its 13 day mission to the International Space Station.

Kent and I had the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center in May, 2010. We saw Atlantis on standing on Launch Pad 39A, getting ready for the explosive journey into space. It was an amazing sight.

Check out our NASA Adventure Video.

This brings to an end the sensational 30 year history of the NASA Space Shuttle Program. With this news, I have one question:

What is next?

As we ponder the future, the Top 7 takes the time to remember the past. Here is 7 cool things about the Space Shuttle.

1. Columbia was the first shuttle to go into space. It was launched on April 12, 1981.

2. There were 5 space shuttles used – Columbia (OV-102), Discovery (OV-103), Atlantis (OV-104), Endeavour (OV-105), & Challenger (OV-099).

3. Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after lift-off on January 28, 1986, killing all 7 crew members.

4. Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003, killing all 7 crew members.

5. There was a sixth shuttle that was used for testing in 1977. It was the Enterprise (OV-101). It is currently on display at the Smithsonian hanger at Washington Dulles International Airport.

6. The Shuttle normally flies at an altitude of 320 kilometres and weighs 110,000 kg at lift-off.

7. The Shuttle normally travels at 27,870 km per hour or 7,743 meters per second

What is your favourite Space Shuttle Memory?

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About thetop7

Seven is the Perfect Number

One response »

  1. I remember reading books planning huge inhabited space colonies in orbit and bases on the moon that used the Shuttles as the first step. It’s a bit disappointing that none of them really panned out, but at least we got the International Space Station. Thanks for sharing those facts.

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