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From Science is a verb‘s Facebook:

On October 26, 1977, NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise completed its fifth and final Approach and Landing Test free flight. Enterprise was released from the back of a modified NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and had a two-minute glide back to the runway at Edwards Air Force Base.

The Approach and Landing Test program demonstrated the orbiter’s capability for safe approach and landing after an orbital flight from space. It also validated crucial onboard control systems necessary for the Shuttle Program’s next step: the launch of Shuttle Columbia into orbit on April 12, 1981.

To learn more about Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests , visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/approach_landing.html

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