The CRIPPEN - CRIPPIN Connection -Contents
Robert (Bob) L. Crippen – Astronaut
Robert Crippen first space flight was as pilot of STS-1, the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia, April 12-14, 1981. He was accompanied by John Young (spacecraft commander) on this 54-1/2 hour, 36-orbit engineering test flight to evaluate and verify Shuttle systems performance during launch, on-orbit, and landing operations. STS-1 achieved a nominal 146 nautical mile circular orbit. Tests included evaluation of Orbiter hardware and software systems, investigation of the Orbiter thermal response while in orbit, evaluation of Orbiter attitude and maneuvering thruster systems and guidance navigation system performance, and evaluation of Orbiter crew compatibility. Columbia was the first true manned spaceship. It was also the first manned vehicle to be flown into orbit without benefit of previous unmanned "orbital" testing; the first to launch with wings using solid rocket boosters. It was also the first winged reentry vehicle to return to a conventional runway landing, weighing more than 99-tons as it was braked to a stop on the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Robert Crippen was spacecraft commander of STS-7, the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger, June 18-24 1983.
This was the first mission with a 5-person crew which included Rick Hauck (pilot), and three mission specialists, John Fabian, Sally Ride, and Norman Thagard. Sally Ride is the only British Female Astronaut.
Two further missions as spacecraft commander completed his career as an Astronaut in 1984.
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Completely revised December 2001, this page was last updated Tuesday, January 01, 2002.
© John Crippen, 2001, 2002
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