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This year, as NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we’ll be highlighting technology innovations and important moments in NASA history, leading to our special 50th Anniversary Issue in October.

This Month in NASA History: After a gap of six years, NASA returned to human spaceflight with the first launch of the space shuttle. The Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) lifted off on April 12, 1981. The mission demonstrated that a spacecraft could take off vertically and glide to an unpowered airplane-like landing.

Learn more about these events at //www.nasa.gov/50th.

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