April 12, 1981: Space Shuttle Columbia launched this day from the LC-39A pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-1 mission lasted just two days, circling the Earth 37 times, before landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Columbia carried a crew of two – mission commander John W. Young and pilot Robert L. Crippen. It was the first American manned space flight since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July, 1975, and also marked  the only time a maiden test flight of a new U.S. spacecraft system carried a human crew.