Arago: Exhibits


The Shuttle Program

Scott 3411

The 3.20-dollar Escaping The Gravity of Earth stamps were issued July 11, 2000. These two stamps along with two others issued a few days earlier were the first postage stamps with holographic images produced by the United States.

Space Shuttle, 'Enterprise' OV-101

The first Space Shuttle orbiter, Enterprise, is a full-scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground; it is not equipped for spaceflight. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter Enterprise was used for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

$10.75 Endeavour single

The stamp exhibits the flawless liftoff of the Endeavour Space Shuttle, Mission STS-57, which took place on June 21, 1993, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The 10.75-dollar Endeavour Space Shuttle Express Mail stamp was issued on August 4, 1995 in Irvine, California.

Following the Apollo Missions, NASA developed and deployed the Space Transportation System (STS), more widely known as the Space Shuttle Program. Unlike the Apollo spacecraft, the new Shuttle spacecraft could be reused for future missions in space. Since the first shuttle launch in 1981, five different spacecraft have flown missions for the program - Columbia, Challenger, Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour.

A number of landmarks in American spaceflight have occurred during the Shuttle Program. In the summer of 1983, aboard the Shuttle Challenger, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. On the next Shuttle mission, Astronaut Guion Bluford became the first African-American to fly in space. In 1986, Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz became the first Hispanic-American to fly in space.