Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

March 20, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia, atop a modified 747, leaves Edwards Air Force Base for Florida.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Cal Montney / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 4, 1977: The space shuttle Columbia during construction at the Rockwell plant in Palmdale.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Cal Montney / Los Angeles Times

March 8, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia is rolled out of a hanger at the Rockwell plant in Palmdale to begin its 38-mile trip to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

March 8, 1979: Spectators line a street in Lancaster as the space shuttle Columbia is towed to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

March 8, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia creeps over back roads from Rockwell International’s Palmdale plant to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

July 4, 1982: Accompanied by two chase planes, the space shuttle Columbia lands at Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George R. Fry / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 18, 1986: A spotlight captures the landing of the space shuttle Columbia at Edwards Air Force Base after a Florida touchdown was canceled because of rain.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George R. Fry / photographer

Feb. 3, 2003: Waylon Bell looks at debris from the space shuttle Columbia south of Hemphill, Texas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 3, 2003: James Mayers prays along Highway 103 south of San Augustine, Texas, before resuming a search for debris from the space shuttle Columbia.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 2, 2003: A cross marks the area where the body of an astronaut was found along Road 2791 outside of Hemphill, Texas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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Space shuttle Columbia

First launched on April 12, 1981, Columbia was the first operational space shuttle. The craft completed 27 missions. On the 28th mission, Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia broke up during re-entry with debris falling in Texas. The seven-member crew were killed.

Shuttle flights were suspended for more than two years and once they resumed, new safety procedures were in place.

All 10 images in this photo gallery are by Los Angeles Times photographers. The last three images by photographer Wally Skalij are from the search for Columbia debris in Texas.

Two of the photos are from earlier From the Archive posts:

April 28, 2011, post about when Columbia moved to Edwards Air Force Base.

An Aug. 31, 2010, post on a Columbia pre-dawn landing.

For more Columbia images, check out this Space shuttle history gallery.

1 Comment

  1. July 20, 2011, 11:55 am

    this is not Endeavor but see how big a shuttle is compared to a Boeing 747. and we know the 747 is very large.

    By: whfike@gmail.com

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