For many decades, the Space Shuttle has symbolized Florida's Space Coast, making it the perfect icon for the Space Coast Geocachers Association. Conceptualized in 1969, the Space Shuttle program was officially started in January, 1972. The first complete orbiter was originally planned to be named Constitution, but a massive write-in campaign from fans of the Star Trek television series convinced the White House to change the name to Enterprise. Amid great fanfare, the Enterprise (designated OV-101) was rolled out on September 17, 1976. The shuttle is the only winged manned spacecraft to achieve orbit and land, and the only reusable space vehicle that has ever made multiple flights into orbit. Its missions involve carrying large payloads to various orbits (including segments to be added to the International Space Station, providing crew rotation for the ISS, and performing service missions. The orbiters can also recover satellites and other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth. The shuttle program is scheduled to end in 2010.
On Jan. 28, 1986, 73 seconds after launch, the Space Shuttle Challenger was lost to us on mission STS-51-L. During her lifetime, Challenger made 10 successful flights, surviving over 62 days in space, and almost 1000 orbits around our Earth. Seventeen years later, during re-entry of mission STS-107, on Jan 16, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia was lost to us. During her lifetime, Columbia made 28 successful flights, surviving over 300 days in space, and over 4800 orbits around our Earth. Both shuttles had a crew of 7 astronauts. While 38 missions might not seem like a lot for a pair of space craft, it is important to consider scale. Each orbit added over 25,000 miles to a shuttle's odometer!
This coin commemorates both those flights, and the fourteen brave souls who were lost during those final missions. The artwork on the back of the coin is an artistic composite of the mission insignias from both flights STS-51-L and STS-107. The tracking number can be found under the hinged bay door.
The SCGA hopes you will enjoy owning this coin as much as we enjoyed creating it!
- Measures 2.5" long and 13mm thick
- Soft and hard enamel colors with a glitter color
- The bay door opens revealing the tracking number
- Trackable on Geocaching.com
- An icon unique to this coin will show on your profile when you log a discovery