space shuttle missions
in a galaxy far far away Erika
Challenger and Columbia were destroyed in mission accidents in 1986 and 2003 respectively, killing a total of fourteen astronauts. A fifth operational orbiter, Endeavour, was built in 1991 to replace Challenger. The Space Shuttle was retired from service upon the conclusion of STS-135 by Atlantis on 21 July 2011.The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Its official program name was Space Transportation System, taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. Operational missions launched numerous satellites (including the Hubble Space Telescope), conducted science experiments in orbit, and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station(ISS). The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982.