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This Day In History, August 12th, 2022 – “Free Flight”

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

It was just 45 years ago today, August 12, 1977, when the first ever free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise occurred. A free flight is when you attach the shuttle to another plane, and then allow it to break off and fly free, like a glider, until it touches down. The first time was tried at Edwards Airforce Base, with thousands in attendance.

Attached to a Boeing 747, the two crafts flew high, until it was the right time to let loose the attached shuttle. For five minutes and 21 seconds, the space shuttle glided to earth and safely landed. Astronauts Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton were given a heroes welcome, as well as test pilots Fitz Fulton and Tom McMurty with Vic Horton and Skip Guidry as flight engineers who were in the 747. 45 years ago today, NASA made history.

What was happening yesterday, on August 11th?

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