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Astronauts Thank NSTL Test Team During May VisitRockwell News - Vol 9 Number 8 - May 28, 1981John Young and Bob Crippen flew again on May 8, 1981 - to the National Space Technology Laboratories (NSTL), Miss., to speak to the Main Propulsion Test Team.
Both astronauts congratulated the team for their contributions to the first Shuttle flight. They indicated that the results of the Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA) testing allowed their flight to be as uneventful as it was.
Young described the ascent phase of STS-1 in detail commenting, "What a ride it was!" He described it as a "smooth, glassy ride with a soft, smooth shutdown - not at all like the Saturn." Young went on to say that we now have a vehicle lots of people can ride, a vehicle that can do a lot for America and a vehicle the American people can be proud of.
Crippen described the entire flight as perfect. He stated, "We couldn't even make it look hard." Both praised the performance of Columbia during their flight with ". . . super machine . . . flies like a champ . . . fun to fly . . . superb during landing . . . wanted to stay up longer ...."
Both crew members received mementos of their visit to NSTL. Bill Trott, MPT resident manager, presented each astronaut with a plaque. The plaques had MPTA and SSME team patches attached with engraved plates bearing the astronauts' name and the inscription, "Official Member of the NSTL Space Shuttle TestTeam, May 8, 1981". John Young commented, "Look what it says, 'From Swamp to Space', Now that's my kind of motto."
R. E. "Ron" Treadwell, Rockwell MPT electrical technician, presented both astronauts with T-shirts which depicted the Orbiter landing and the words, "A Spaceship has Landed on Earth, It came from Rockwell."
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