I don’t remember much from 1981. I was only eleven years old and time has faded many memories but one fond memory I have is of the first space shuttle launch. The space race had been dormant but the space shuttle was reigniting the dreams of space travel.
The launch was extremely early. It was shortly before 4 am in California. My dad felt it was important enough to see, so he came and woke me up to watch history being made. I remember being in my parents room watching. The flickering glow of the TV in the dark room. Its a great memory.
Here is a video of what I saw. Its almost as grainy and low tech as I remember from that old console TV.
Sadly during the last flight of the Columbia, it disintegrated during re-entry killing all 7 astronauts. The Space Shuttle Columbia had flown 28 flights, spent 300.74 days in space, completed 4,808 orbits, and flew 125,204,911 miles.
It sad to think that in a few months the last space shuttle will launch its last time.