In tribute to the 25th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center today is honoring the crew of mission STS-1, Commander John Young and Pilot Robert Crippen, by dedicating the firing room that launched the historic flight as the “Young-Crippen Firing Room.”

The first shuttle mission launched the two astronaut test pilots on April 12, 1981, aboard Space Shuttle Columbia from firing room 1 at Kennedy. The crew landed two days later at Edwards Air Force Base in California, ending the boldest test flight in history.

Center Director Jim Kennedy said, “It is our pleasure on behalf of all your friends at the Kennedy Space Center to honor you with a plaque commemorating your historic flight and your successes with NASA.”

Young and Crippen are visiting Kennedy today and Friday to celebrate the anniversary, as well as address employees and answer questions. Deputy Center Director Bill Parsons surprised the men with the honor following the crew’s presentation to employees.

A plaque featuring the STS-1 mission patch was placed outside the firing room. Signed by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Kennedy, the plaque bears the inscription: “On the 25th anniversary of STS-1, April 12, 1981, the first orbital test flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, we proudly name firing room 1 the Young-Crippen Firing Room in tribute to John W. Young, commander, and Robert L. Crippen, pilot.”

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