August 12, 1977: Space Shuttle "Enterprise" (OV-101) makes its first free flight from the back of a NASA 747 carrier aircraft for Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests (ALTs). Astronauts Fred W. Haise Jr., and C. Gordon Fullerton were the crew of the "Enterprise." NASA Photo.
Before the space shuttle could orbit in space, it had to prove that it could land on Earth. On August 12, 1977, the first free flight by the prototype space shuttle orbiter Enterprise was successfully flown at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California's high desert. NASA
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