Can you name all of the Space Shuttles?

Discovery safe back at landing strip. Cropped ...
Image via Wikipedia

Over the last few months this question has cropped up every so often – specifically when saying which museum is going to receive each Space Shuttle – something that’s still open to debate as the decision process appears to be flawed.

Anyhow, can you name all of them?

If you as most people they’ll hopefully answer with:

  • Columbia
  • Challenger
  • Discovery
  • Atlantis
  • Endeavour

Sadly most haven’t heard of the others & yes there are others, it depends on what exactly you mean when asking the question – the question was name all of the shuttles – I didn’t say those that actually flew in space 😉

Here’s the ones I know of, listed in the order they were built:

Enterprise (OV-101)

Built in 1974-76 she flew for the first time in 1977 from the back of a Boeing 747 and retired in 1979. Although it was planned to refit her for actual space flight the modifications were just too expensive.

Pathfinder (OV-098 honorary)

Built in 1977 as a test simulator made of steel & wood, Pathfinders purpose was to provide a test bed for training ground crew in mating an actual shuttle. She was sold to the Japanese who then spent US$1M in refurbishing her to resemble a full shuttle before being displayed in Tokyo. Since 1988 she’s been on display in Huntsville, Alabama.

Columbia (OV-102)

Built in 1975 she was the first to actually fly into space. She made 28 flights from April 12 1981 until she was lost on February 1 2003.

Challenger (OV-099)

Originally an engineering test bed, Challenger was built in 1979 and flew 10 missions from April 4 1983 until she was lost on January 28 1986.

Discovery (OV-103)

Built in 1979 flew 39 missions between August 30 1984 and February 24 2011.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Built in 1980 and flew 33 missions between October 1985 and July 2011.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Built in 1987 to replace Challenger she flew 25 missions between May 1992 and June 2011. She was built out of spares from Discovery & Atlantis as that was cheaper than having 2 new shuttles built (which Rockwell offered at the cost of 1 original shuttle).

Explorer

A full scale replica built in 1993, located at Kennedy Space Centre.

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