Can you name all of the Space Shuttles?

Discovery safe back at landing strip. Cropped ...
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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).


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

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