Bob Futz: August 12th, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flies on its own for the first time …
Unknown Speaker: "And there it goes, 727 has launched, the space-shuttle orbiter. You heard the applause here out at the landing site, and it's up! Boy … "
Bob Futz: It was an exciting day at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert. Back with a recap after this.
Bob Futz: The space shuttle, designed to be America's first reusable spacecraft to make 100 roundtrips 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 were separated by explosive bolts; the shuttle was flying on its own and astronauts Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton guided it in for an unpowered landing …
Unknown Speaker: "There go the landing gear. Landing gear down, all three are down; looks good. Looking good, moving directly in front of where I'm standing right now. There go the rear wheels; rear wheels are down. Rear wheels are down, it looks like the front wheels are also down, and there it is. The shuttle, the space-orbiter shuttle Enterprise, is down on the ground, a successful flight."
Bob Futz: Four more successful flights followed. The first space shuttle is scheduled to be blasted into orbit in March of 1979.
This is Bob Futz for Recap '77.