Memorial Page for Space Shuttle Columbia, OV-102


The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and her intrepid crew is a global tragedy. By way of a memorial to the crew of Columbia, I am posting my photographs of Columbia taken at Edwards Air Force Base and Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale, California.


(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.) Go to the Home Page

March 20, 1979: Delivery flight of Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia, OV-102 was delivered to NASA from Edwards Air Force Base on March 20, 1979.

747-SCA takes off with Columbia on March 20, 1979 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (747-SCA), N905NA prepares for take off with Columbia from Runway 04 at Edwards AFB.

747-SCA takes off with Columbia on March 20, 1979

Columbia departs Edwards AFB, March 20, 1979

747-SCA takes off with Columbia on March 20, 1979

747-SCA flies over Edwards AFB with Columbia on March 20, 1979 747-SCA flies over Edwards AFB with Columbia.

April 14, 1981: First landing of Columbia

First landing of Columbia at Edwards AFB, April 14, 1981 Columbia landed on Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB at the conclusion of its first mission on April 14, 1981. John Young, Jr. was the Commander and Navy Captain Robert Crippen was the pilot of STS-1. Northrop T-38A Talons joined formation with the shuttle during its descent to the runway marked out on Rogers Dry Lake.

First landing of Columbia at Edwards AFB, April 14, 1981

First landing of Columbia at Edwards AFB, April 14, 1981 Emergency vehicles were parked at strategic locations around the lakebed.

First landing of Columbia at Edwards AFB, April 14, 1981 Columbia kicks up a rooster tail of dust from the surface of Rogers Dry Lake.

Link to the Astronautix.com page with information about STS-1.

July 4, 1982: Fourth landing of Columbia and Delivery of Challenger

Columbia landing at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982 Columbia landed on Runway 22 at Edwards AFB at the conclusion of its fourth mission on July 4, 1982. Captain Thomas Mattingly II was the Commander and Henry "Hank" Hartzfield was the pilot of STS-4.

Columbia landing at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982 Columbia rolls out after landing at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982. President Ronald Reagan observed the landing from a position near the giant flag in the hangar door on the other side of the runway. NASA Northrop T-38A Talon, N923NA is still flying at a speed well below the landing speed of the Space Shuttle.

Columbia landing at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982 A fleet of recovery vehicles and numerous support crew are required to service the orbiter after reentry. The vehicle in front of the word UNITED is equipped with a large fan to blow noxious fumes away from the orbiter

Columbia lafter landing with 747-SCA carrying Challenger at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982 Space Shuttle Challenger, OV-099 was delivered to NASA from Edwards AFB shortly after Columbia landed. President Ronald Reagan held a press conference in front of the Enterprise, OV-101. Columbia sitting on Runway 22 with 747-SCA, N905NA carrying Challenger at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982. This was the first occasion on which two spaceflight capable space shuttles appeared together. I was the only photographer still waiting on the south side of the runway. All the others had gone to see the President's speech. At the moment I took this picture, President Reagan was leading the crowd in a rendition of God Bless America.

Columbia at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982

Columbia at Edwards AFB on July 4, 1982 Columbia was towed to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at walking speed.

Link to the Astronautix.com page with information about STS-4.

November 15, 1982: Fifth Landing of Columbia

Columbia at Edwards AFB on November 15, 1982 Columbia landing on Runway 22 at Edwards AFB at the conclusion of its fifth flight on November 15, 1982. Vance Brand was the Commander and Marine Colonel Robert Overmyer was the pilot of STS-5. This was the first spaceflight to carry more than three people. It carried mission specialists William Lenoir and Joseph Allen.

Columbia at Edwards AFB on November 15, 1982 Columbia after landing at Edwards AFB on November 15, 1982.

Columbia at Edwards AFB on November 15, 1982 Columbia after landing at Edwards AFB on November 15, 1982.

Link to the Astronautix.com page with information about STS-5.

August 13, 1989: Eighth landing of Columbia at Edwards AFB

Columbia descends over Edwards AFB on August 13, 1989 Columbia descending to a landing on Runway 22 at Edwards AFB at the conclusion of its eighth flight on August 13, 1989. Brewster Shaw, Jr. was the Commander and Richard Richards was the pilot of STS-28. It carried mission specialists James Adamson, David Leestma, and Mark Brown.

Columbia descends over Edwards AFB on August 13, 1989 Columbia had launched two classified Department of Defense satellites on the mission.

Link to the Astronautix.com page with information about STS-28.

September 25, 1999: Columbia delivered to Palmdale for modification

747-SCA, N905NA with Space Shuttle Columbia The space shuttle orbiter Columbia, OV-102 was delivered by Boeing 747 SCA, N905NA to Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale, California on Saturday, September 25, 1999 .

Space Shuttle Columbia Space Shuttle Columbia arrived at Air Force Plant 42 shortly after 10:00 A. M. It had made low passes over NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base and Fox Field, west of Lancaster. For a moment, the 747-SCA, N905NA was handed off to the Fox Field tower by Joshua Control. It circled at low altitude over the city of Lancaster and paraded around the Antelope Valley before lining up on Runway 25. Astronaut Gordon Fullerton was at the controls of the 747-SCA.

Space Shuttle Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia The Space Shuttle Columbia was at Palmdale for about eighteen months.


Columbia broke up on reentry over the state of Texas at the conclusion of its twenty-eighth flight on February 1, 2003, killing her crew of seven astronauts.

Commander: Rick Husband

Pilot: William McCool

Payload Commander: Mike Anderson

Mission Specialist: Kalpana Chawla

Mission Specialist: Dave Brown

Mission Specialist: Laurel Clark

Payload Specialist: Ilan Ramon


More Space Shuttle photos

More Space Shuttle photos More pictures from Space Shuttle events.


These photographs are all copyrighted. Do not put them on your web site or reproduce them in any way without my permission.


Send a message to Brian.

Go to home page of the Goleta Air and Space Museum.