“Something Just Short of a Miracle” | NASA Space Shuttle’s 40th Anniversary

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On April 12, 1981, space shuttle Columbia launched for the first time with NASA astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen aboard.

With 10 years of design and development, the shuttle was the first of its kind — a reusable vehicle for travel to low-Earth orbit.

The STS-1 Mission would demonstrate safe launch into orbit and safe return of the orbiter and crew and verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle – orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank. Commander John Young called the flight “something just short of a miracle.”

The success of the STS-1 Mission was the beginning of an era and over the course of three decades, the space shuttle program redefined what we know about living in a microgravity environment.

Learn more at: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/retired-astronaut-bob-crippen-on-the-40th-anniversary-of-sts-1-and-the-beginning-of/

  1. Aerospace Matt

    Thank You Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour, and Atlantis for 133 successful shuttle flights to LEO and back!

  2. Arnav Kulshrestha

    It was nice to recall our previous achievements.

  3. Aaron Peavler/Geomodelrai

    My generation knew The Shuttle and I fallowed all the missions from STS 26 to STS 135. I miss The Shuttle my uncles and my grandpa worked on it they built the boosters. To the fleet Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour I would like to say Thank You! Thank You for 40 years of serving our nation we will miss you and all the great mission you done.

  4. 2302곽세민

    I will never forget challenger& his final crews, columbia& his final crews.

  5. Geraldo Zambrin Junior

    Very good times and as a boy I was happy to see NASA videos that national networks showed a few days late and they will come back for sure !!! 👍🇺🇸

  6. Luiz Filipe

    I am a poor young Brazilian engineering student and I started to like astronautics and astronomy after meeting space shuttles in 2009 when I was only 8 years old wathcing STS 127 launch … I am still studying hard for one day to fulfill my dream of working at NASA

  7. Bill Washburn

    I didn’t realize this until a few years after he was born but my son was born on the anniversary of the first shuttle launch and his mom (my ex wife) was born on the anniversary of the first landing.

  8. kel fou

    Mankind put with these different challenges a way of real solidarity between all the nations no matter what was the contribution of each of them. Their union is on the sky

  9. blazley_

    Good times I guess even though I was born in 2009

    Anyways, space travel has came far to this day, and getting even better. To the future and beyond!

  10. Mandy Schmidt

    It makes me so sad that we as a species are capable of such wondrous things but we seem to be incapable of treating our home and our fellow beings with respect and kindness.

  11. devikwolf

    For all of the problems with the Shuttle program, it was still one amazing piece of technology. The sheer scale of the orbiter against the Apollo capsule really drives home what a brilliant flying machine it was. Hail Columbia!

  12. James Cole

    John Young is such a legend he was one Gemini 3,10, Apollo 10 and 16 STS-1 and 9

  13. Joao Antonio

    2:10 The astronaut on the right might be the coolest person I’ve ever seen in my life lol

  14. Hangfire

    America’s Space Program has lead the world to new technologies that have improved the quality of life for all of mankind. Thank God for all of the people who have dedicated their lives to it.

  15. DivideByZeroGetCake

    I have so much love for these marvelous machines!

  16. oscar c

    feliz cumpleaños sts !
    congratulations regards from Peru!❤️

  17. Pink Wings

    One of the most beautiful machines ever made, happy birthday Shuttle!

  18. Velia Syalsabila

    Marhaban Ya Ramadhan

  19. White Nin

    One day I will be here 💕😊

  20. SpaceÇ

    Anlamaya çalışmak bana mutluluk katıyor…

  21. Maureen O'Brien

    So here we are, 40 years to the day. No matter how many times I see it, I’ll never get tired of seeing the world’s first reusable spacecraft spread her wings for the first time. The eternal image of Columbia climbing like a scalded cat into the Florida skies is truly inspiring. Even without a test flight, Young and Crippen flew a great mission, testing the important systems, and landing safely at Edwards. I’m glad I here to celebrate this anniversary with all of you. Godspeed, mighty John Young. And hail Columbia, the queen of the stars.

  22. Ali Smith

    Being from the U.K. I always witnessed the launches via TV. The shuttle captured my imagination as a child which spurred me on to join the Royal Air Force to become an aircraft engineer. Being able to visit Kennedy visitors centre with my daughter and see Atlantis up close was a very emotional experience for me not only meeting my mechanical hero but also getting my daughter hooked on space flight too.
    Thank you to all those who worked on or around the shuttle programme and those who continue on to further mankind’s exploration into space.

  23. mb houtex

    3:23 – Goodness me, the entirety of the ISS shaking upon docking. I’d always wondered but seeing it is truly something to behold. You know the masses meeting like that has to impart some forces, but watching the entire ISS shake about from it… just.. wow. Really amazing.

  24. Nagarjun Kashyap

    Also a big salute to the men and women who lost their lives while on this beautiful vehicle. And also the vehicles challenger and Columbia who died abruptly while serving humanity.

  25. Ron M

    Thanks for sharing. 😊

  26. LuCid _

    I wonder if a Astronaut ever brought a music player with them it would be kind of cool to flow through the ISS listening to rocket man

  27. gamer

    0:06 i swear to god i’ve heard this sound somewhere else and it sounds identical lol

  28. Memphis Raines

    Can’t wait for the next NASA’s chapter. I wish you many successful liftoffs. Go SLS go…

  29. Max

    Today is 60 years since the first earthman has been in space. Gagarin is a hero!

  30. Julopabene

    I can’t wait to see manned spaceplanes fly again, first Dream Chaser, then Skylon, and who knows what will come next. The Space Shuttle paved the way!

  31. Frank R

    Yeah, great success 40 years ago + I remember statement from Young & Crippen before this first orbital flight: “happy, when we come down again alive”

  32. Eddy Wells

    135 missions dispite all her faults still an amazing feat 💞💞💞💞💞

  33. Oumuamua PSCoPLP

    Awesome and congratulations :)

  34. Steve's Woodworking

    I was there watching it land at Edwards AFB.

  35. LelekPL

    Yuri Gagarin also became the first man in space on this day 60 years ago

  36. Anuj Tejas

    I really want to become a aerospace engineering but I know I won’t be able to…..just seeing this makes me happy

  37. Félix Vivó

    Incredible you didn’t make a video for yuri gagarin >=(

  38. S M

    I grew up watching shuttle launches. I watched Colombia’s first launch, and cried when the program ended! 👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  39. A 44 TO CHANNEL

    MasyaAllah Tabarakallah…

  40. Thomas Roughley

    Remember it fondly. I was in 3rd grade and this started my love for Space and NASA.

  41. Monique bosman

    congrats <3 <3 <3 <3 wit oud you all the connection on earth to ethother wil be a lil bid more impossible <3 <3 <3 you all made the world a better place <3 <3 <3

  42. Railfan Andrew

    Had Columbia not been lost, it would probably be in the building that Atlantis resides in today.

  43. David Jack

    It seems a real dishonor to the memory of _Challenger_ and _Columbia_ to celebrate the Space Shuttle program and anniversary in this video without an acknowledgment of the lives lost. Not even briefly. Not once. I would expect more from the Chief Historian of NASA.

  44. Sleepyhead fpv

    I will always advocate how much the shuttle accomplished for the Space Program. It was absolutely with no doubt A remarkable machine.

  45. Steve Fox

    Incredible to think this was only 20 years after Gagarin. Amazing!!

  46. Thaddeus W

    the space shuttle was nothing short of an engineering masterpiece

  47. proto718

    I was 9 1/2 years old when the first shuttle went up, now I’m ready to become an AARP member. And the smartest thing I’ve done between now and then was not to get married. 😝👍🙏🤟

  48. Alexander Cabatingan Mont

    Who’s the 9, unlike this video? What’s wrong?🤦🏻‍♂️

  49. Electrofrying

    4:18 face scene haha, precious.

  50. Sujay Debnath

    I have dream space in my life in night time about two month ago.

  51. the fox gaming

    Happy Launch Day, Space Shuttle!

  52. Renato Chancasanampa

    Congrats NASA :’)

  53. Tanima Sharma

    Congratulations for 40th anniversary

  54. JT Brown

    I’ll never forget the day I took my family to the cape to watch a shuttle launch. It was the fulfillment of a lifetime dream I’ve had since I was a child. STS-117 went off without a hitch and we have fond memories of that experience to this day.

  55. Gautham.C.G.

    Just remembering the two disasters with it😭

  56. Ash Redfern


  57. Devin Dykstra

    The Space Shuttle was way ahead of its time. It paved the way for the future of reusable launch vehicles.


    Congratulations 👏 👏 👏


    Many many returns of the day❤️❤️❤️ space shuttle ❤️❤️

  60. Yash Mali

    Here’s a thought, give these guys more money instead of invading countries

  61. James

    Happy 40Th anniversary congrats nasa

  62. Larry Whittington

    We are doing the other things 😂👍👏👏👏👏😎👍🚀💫🌎🛰🔴🚆💨
    Godspeed sincerely

  63. Natanael Edsel Emery Rahm

    Congratulations ! I Just Know that this is The 40th Anniversary of the space shutle !

  64. imane 69

    I can’t wait for Artemis 1. The moon, we’re comming back stronger than ever!! Good luck to nasa and the teams that work there. I hope to become a NASA scientist when I grow up.

  65. RSpudieD

    I always loved watching the shuttle launches on TV! It’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come!

  66. 1QRW 0173a

    Let’s go!!🥳✨

  67. Pol Valls

    I haven’t thought how incredible was the Space Shuttle. What a pity that it didn’t reach its main purpose to bring down the costs

  68. Ich will alles wissen

    Спасибо Nasa за Perseverance! Николай из России

  69. Just a guy with a strange

    I can’t believe NASA has come this far😃✊
    Stay Safe Guys and May God Bless You All😇

  70. Richie

    Incredible feat in space research.


    Ура 100ком

  72. Ashok

    It’s sad how after the “giant leap for mankind” we were limited to only couple hundred miles off the planet.

  73. Bıyık

    siz en iyisisiniz (i speak turkish)

  74. Tharun C•N

    Soon we’ll be among the stars ✨⭐ ……
    Per Asperda Ad Astra ✨⭐✨

  75. Dirt Block

    The space shuttle will always be one of the most advanced spaceships for a long time

  76. Concorde Gaming

    0:40 I’ll try spinning. That’s a good trick!

  77. Yalda Jalooli

    This is soooooooo gooooooooood 🙏🏻🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🌵👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  78. Noob Insaan


  79. Ajay Gurjar

    Let the world see the pictures that are above this universe…we are waiting ✌️☮️


    The space shuttle was a very very significant achievement!!!

  81. Karl-Konrad Klotzkopf

    My favourite vehicle ever. 😍

  82. Kingston Panton

    Wow nasa great job initiating also I’m hyped even though it already happened

  83. Cygnus

    STS-1… We will always remember the beginning of an amazing program.

  84. Federico Marras

    Take us to the stars❤

  85. The Cat

    First here! Go NASA Go America

  86. Zero

    I love the space shuttle so much.

  87. Sam Zipes

    Beautiful engine and beautiful program.

  88. Shreeya Goel

    congrats nasa❤

  89. Seenivasan Narayanan

    Hai NASA… happy anniversary….

  90. Монеты и Банкноты

    С праздником всех!

  91. Donnie Jackson

    Monday Morning 🙏🏾❤🚀🇺🇸

  92. Padubala Mahanta


  93. عبدالرحمن المصري

    رابع تعليق 🇪🇬😊

  94. • Ārkiee •

    Wow amaizing!!!

  95. Pisaaac

    Wow. It’s amazing we’ve come so far!



  97. Jordane Clayton


  98. EngRafael Carlos


  99. Hemant Ronnie

    Love from india ❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥

  100. Mubassira Creativity

    fantastic. 🤩

Comments are closed.