Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on April 12, 1981, at 6 a.m. CST (12:00 GMT) to begin the first shuttle mission, STS-1. The primary mission objectives for STS-1 were to accomplish a safe ascent into orbit, check out all the systems on the space shuttle and to return to Earth for a safe landing. All of these objectives were met successfully.
The main payload carried on STS-1 was a Development Flight Instrumentation package, which contained sensors and measuring devices to record orbiter performance and the stresses that occurred during launch, ascent, orbital flight, descent and landing.
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