Space Shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the first time, 1977.
August 12th, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flies on its own for the first time.
The Enterprise was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform atmospheric test flights after being launched from a modified Boeing 747. The space shuttle, designed to be America’s first reusable spacecraft to make round trips into orbit, taking off on a rocket, landing like a plane.
The first shuttle, named Enterprise, was perched on the back of a modified 747 jet for testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Early on the morning of August 12th, flying high above the desert, the mated pair was separated by explosive bolts. The shuttle was flying on its own and astronauts Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton guided it in for an un-powered landing.
Enterprise underwent four more free flights where the craft separated from the 747 jet and was landed under astronaut control.
Extra Note: The Enterprise was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield. As a result, it was not capable of spaceflight.
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