Space Shuttle Columbia Delivered

March 25, 1979

The first space flight capable Space Shuttle, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Columbia was the second orbiter built, but its predecessor Enterprise was built primarily as an early testing prototype and without engines and functional heat shielding was not capable of space flight. Columbia was set to launch in late 1979 but due to various problems, did not launch until April 12, 1981. Columbia was lost on February 1, 2003 upon re-entry due to damage to the heat shield on its wing from an impact from falling foam insulation.