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I always grew up thinking that both of those shuttles only flew in one mission and never made it back home. Now, I found evidence that that's not the case.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia tells us how many flights each made before destruction in the intro to the articles.... $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Feb 16 '18 at 3:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should include your current state of research about those evidences so that we can add relevant links and references you don't know. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Feb 16 '18 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ Columbia was actually the first Shuttle to fly ever, and flew long after Challenger. $\endgroup$ – ORcoder Feb 17 '18 at 20:29
14
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Challenger: 10 launches

Columbia: 28 launches

Source: spreadsheet I kept throughout my career

enter image description here

Edit:

Here is an ASCII version of the spreadsheet, created since OP is visually impaired.

+----+----------+------+------------+------------+------+------------+-----------+------+------------+----------+------+------------+-----------+-----+------------+
|    |          |      |            |            |      |            | SEQ       | FLT  |            |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 39 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 133       | 133  | 2/24/2011  |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 38 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 131       | 131  | 4/5/2010   |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 37 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 128       | 128  | 8/28/2009  |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 36 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 125       | 119  | 3/15/2009  |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 35 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 123       | 124  | 5/31/2008  |          |      |            |           |     |            |
| 34 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 120       | 120  | 10/23/2007 | SEQ      | FLT  |            |           |     |            |
| 33 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 117       | 116  | 12/9/2006  | 135      | 135  | 7/8/2011   |           |     |            |
| 32 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 115       | 121  | 7/4/2006   | 132      | 132  | 5/14/2010  |           |     |            |
| 31 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 114       | 114  | 7/26/2005  | 129      | 129  | 11/16/2009 |           |     |            |
| 30 |          |      |            |            |      |            | 106       | 105  | 8/10/2001  | 126      | 125  | 5/11/2009  |           |     |            |
| 29 | SEQ      | FLT  |            |            |      |            | 103       | 102  | 3/8/2001   | 121      | 122  | 2/7/2008   |           |     |            |
| 28 | 113      | 107  | 1/16/2003  |            |      |            | 100       | 92   | 10/11/2000 | 118      | 117  | 6/8/2007   |           |     |            |
| 27 | 108      | 109  | 3/1/2002   |            |      |            | 96        | 103  | 12/19/1999 | 116      | 115  | 8/28/2006  |           |     |            |
| 26 | 95       | 93   | 7/23/1999  |            |      |            | 94        | 96   | 5/27/1999  | 111      | 112  | 10/7/2002  | SEQ       | FLT |            |
| 25 | 90       | 90   | 4/17/1998  |            |      |            | 92        | 95   | 10/29/1998 | 109      | 110  | 4/19/2002  | 134       | 134 | 5/16/2011  |
| 24 | 88       | 87   | 11/19/1997 |            |      |            | 91        | 91   | 8/2/1998   | 105      | 104  | 7/12/2001  | 130       | 130 | 2/7/2010   |
| 23 | 85       | 94   | 7/1/1997   |            |      |            | 86        | 85   | 8/7/1997   | 102      | 98   | 2/7/2001   | 127       | 127 | 7/15/2009  |
| 22 | 83       | 83   | 4/4/1997   |            |      |            | 82        | 82   | 2/11/1997  | 99       | 106  | 9/8/2000   | 124       | 126 | 11/10/2008 |
| 21 | 80       | 80   | 11/19/1996 |            |      |            | 70        | 70   | 7/13/1995  | 98       | 101  | 5/19/2000  | 122       | 123 | 3/11/2008  |
| 20 | 78       | 78   | 8/20/1996  |            |      |            | 67        | 63   | 2/3/1995   | 87       | 86   | 9/25/1997  | 119       | 118 | 8/8/2007   |
| 19 | 75       | 75   | 2/22/1996  |            |      |            | 64        | 64   | 9/9/1994   | 84       | 84   | 5/15/1997  | 112       | 113 | 11/23/2002 |
| 18 | 72       | 73   | 10/20/1995 |            |      |            | 60        | 60   | 2/3/1994   | 81       | 81   | 1/12/1997  | 110       | 111 | 6/5/2002   |
| 17 | 63       | 65   | 7/8/1994   |            |      |            | 57        | 51   | 9/12/1993  | 79       | 79   | 9/16/1996  | 107       | 108 | 12/5/2001  |
| 16 | 61       | 62   | 3/4/1994   |            |      |            | 54        | 56   | 4/8/1993   | 76       | 76   | 3/22/1996  | 104       | 100 | 4/19/2001  |
| 15 | 58       | 58   | 10/18/1993 |            |      |            | 52        | 53   | 12/2/1992  | 73       | 74   | 11/12/1995 | 101       | 97  | 11/30/2000 |
| 14 | 55       | 55   | 4/26/1993  |            |      |            | 45        | 42   | 1/22/1992  | 69       | 71   | 6/27/1995  | 97        | 99  | 2/11/2000  |
| 13 | 51       | 52   | 10/22/1992 |            |      |            | 43        | 48   | 9/12/1991  | 66       | 66   | 11/3/1994  | 93        | 88  | 12/4/1998  |
| 12 | 48       | 50   | 6/25/1992  |            |      |            | 40        | 39   | 4/28/1991  | 49       | 46   | 7/31/1992  | 89        | 89  | 1/22/1998  |
| 11 | 41       | 40   | 6/5/1991   | SEQ        | FLT  |            | 36        | 41   | 10/6/1990  | 46       | 45   | 3/24/1992  | 77        | 77  | 5/19/1996  |
| 10 | 38       | 35   | 12/2/1990  | 25         | 51-L | 1/28/1986  | 35        | 31   | 4/24/1990  | 44       | 44   | 11/24/1991 | 74        | 72  | 1/11/1996  |
|  9 | 33       | 32   | 1/9/1990   | 22         | 61-A | 10/30/1985 | 32        | 33   | 11/22/1989 | 42       | 43   | 8/2/1991   | 71        | 69  | 9/7/1995   |
|  8 | 30       | 28   | 8/8/1989   | 19         | 51-F | 7/28/1985  | 28        | 29   | 3/13/1989  | 39       | 37   | 4/5/1991   | 68        | 67  | 3/2/1995   |
|  7 | 24       | 61-C | 1/12/1986  | 17         | 51-B | 4/29/1985  | 26        | 26   | 9/2/1988   | 37       | 38   | 11/15/1990 | 65        | 68  | 9/30/1994  |
|  6 | 9        | 9    | 11/28/1983 | 13         | 41-G | 10/5/1984  | 20        | 51-I | 8/27/1985  | 34       | 36   | 2/28/1990  | 62        | 59  | 4/9/1994   |
|  5 | 5        | 5    | 11/11/1982 | 11         | 41-C | 4/6/1984   | 18        | 51-G | 6/17/1985  | 31       | 34   | 10/18/1989 | 59        | 61  | 12/2/1993  |
|  4 | 4        | 4    | 6/27/1982  | 10         | 41-B | 2/3/1984   | 16        | 51-D | 4/12/1985  | 29       | 30   | 5/4/1989   | 56        | 57  | 6/21/1993  |
|  3 | 3        | 3    | 3/22/1982  | 8          | 8    | 8/30/1983  | 15        | 51-C | 1/24/1985  | 27       | 27   | 12/2/1988  | 53        | 54  | 1/13/1993  |
|  2 | 2        | 2    | 11/12/1981 | 7          | 7    | 6/18/1983  | 14        | 51-A | 11/7/1984  | 23       | 61-B | 11/26/1985 | 50        | 47  | 9/12/1992  |
|  1 | 1        | 1    | 4/12/1981  | 6          | 6    | 4/4/1983   | 12        | 41-D | 8/30/1984  | 21       | 51-J | 10/3/1985  | 47        | 49  | 5/7/1992   |
|    | Columbia |      |            | Challenger |      |            | Discovery |      |            | Atlantis |      |            | Endeavour |     |            |
|    | OV-102   |      |            | OV-099     |      |            | OV-103    |      |            | OV-104   |      |            | OV-105    |     |            |
+----+----------+------+------------+------------+------+------------+-----------+------+------------+----------+------+------------+-----------+-----+------------+

And another version using the the new table format. I left the ASCII table in because I'm not sure this is really an improvement.

ndx SEQ FLT Date SEQ FLT Date SEQ FLT Date SEQ FLT Date SEQ FLT Date
39 133 133 2/24/2011
38 131 131 4/5/2010
37 128 128 8/28/2009
36 125 119 3/15/2009
35 123 124 5/31/2008
34 120 120 10/23/2007
33 117 116 12/9/2006 135 135 7/8/2011
32 115 121 7/4/2006 132 132 5/14/2010
31 114 114 7/26/2005 129 129 11/16/2009
30 106 105 8/10/2001 126 125 5/11/2009
29 103 102 3/8/2001 121 122 2/7/2008
28 113 107 1/16/2003 100 92 10/11/2000 118 117 6/8/2007
27 108 109 3/1/2002 96 103 12/19/1999 116 115 8/28/2006
26 95 93 7/23/1999 94 96 5/27/1999 111 112 10/7/2002
25 90 90 4/17/1998 92 95 10/29/1998 109 110 4/19/2002 134 134 5/16/2011
24 88 87 11/19/1997 91 91 8/2/1998 105 104 7/12/2001 130 130 2/7/2010
23 85 94 7/1/1997 86 85 8/7/1997 102 98 2/7/2001 127 127 7/15/2009
22 83 83 4/4/1997 82 82 2/11/1997 99 106 9/8/2000 124 126 11/10/2008
21 80 80 11/19/1996 70 70 7/13/1995 98 101 5/19/2000 122 123 3/11/2008
20 78 78 8/20/1996 67 63 2/3/1995 87 86 9/25/1997 119 118 8/8/2007
19 75 75 2/22/1996 64 64 9/9/1994 84 84 5/15/1997 112 113 11/23/2002
18 72 73 10/20/1995 60 60 2/3/1994 81 81 1/12/1997 110 111 6/5/2002
17 63 65 7/8/1994 57 51 9/12/1993 79 79 9/16/1996 107 108 12/5/2001
16 61 62 3/4/1994 54 56 4/8/1993 76 76 3/22/1996 104 100 4/19/2001
15 58 58 10/18/1993 52 53 12/2/1992 73 74 11/12/1995 101 97 11/30/2000
14 55 55 4/26/1993 45 42 1/22/1992 69 71 6/27/1995 97 99 2/11/2000
13 51 52 10/22/1992 43 48 9/12/1991 66 66 11/3/1994 93 88 12/4/1998
12 48 50 6/25/1992 40 39 4/28/1991 49 46 7/31/1992 89 89 1/22/1998
11 41 40 6/5/1991 36 41 10/6/1990 46 45 3/24/1992 77 77 5/19/1996
10 38 35 12/2/1990 25 51-L 1/28/1986 35 31 4/24/1990 44 44 11/24/1991 74 72 1/11/1996
9 33 32 1/9/1990 22 61-A 10/30/1985 32 33 11/22/1989 42 43 8/2/1991 71 69 9/7/1995
8 30 28 8/8/1989 19 51-F 7/28/1985 28 29 3/13/1989 39 37 4/5/1991 68 67 3/2/1995
7 24 61-C 1/12/1986 17 51-B 4/29/1985 26 26 9/2/1988 37 38 11/15/1990 65 68 9/30/1994
6 9 9 11/28/1983 13 41-G 10/5/1984 20 51-I 8/27/1985 34 36 2/28/1990 62 59 4/9/1994
5 5 5 11/11/1982 11 41-C 4/6/1984 18 51-G 6/17/1985 31 34 10/18/1989 59 61 12/2/1993
4 4 4 6/27/1982 10 41-B 2/3/1984 16 51-D 4/12/1985 29 30 5/4/1989 56 57 6/21/1993
3 3 3 3/22/1982 8 8 8/30/1983 15 51-C 1/24/1985 27 27 12/2/1988 53 54 1/13/1993
2 2 2 11/12/1981 7 7 6/18/1983 14 51-A 11/7/1984 23 61-B 11/26/1985 50 47 9/12/1992
1 1 1 4/12/1981 6 6 4/4/1983 12 41-D 8/30/1984 21 51-J 10/3/1985 47 49 5/7/1992
Columbia Challenger Discovery Atlantis Endeavour
OV-102 OV-099 OV-103 OV-104 OV-105
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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Cool one. Just for completeness, would you explain what do the colours mean? $\endgroup$ – Diego Sánchez Feb 16 '18 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ Blue background = pre Challenger failure, green background = between the failures, orange background = post Columbia failure. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Feb 16 '18 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ I am totally blind. Can you describe or edit the image you included in your source? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – HeavenlyHarmony Feb 17 '18 at 5:32
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    $\begingroup$ It shows five columns, one for each of the space-worthy Orbiters. There is an entry in each column for each launch of the Orbiter showing the sequential shuttle program launch number, the mission designation, and the date. I have read that it's difficult to post tables in stack exchange answers but I will see if I can do it so that you can read the info. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Feb 17 '18 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ @HeavenlyHarmony I have updated the answer to include an ASCII version of the table. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Feb 17 '18 at 19:06
1
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To summarize Organic Marble's table:

  • Challenger flew 9 successful missions between April 1983 and November 1985 before its loss.
  • Columbia flew 27 successful missions between April 1981 and March 2002 before its loss.
  • Discovery flew the most of any of the orbiters, 39 missions from August 1984 to March 2011.
  • Atlantis flew 33 missions, including the final mission of shuttle program, from October 1985 to July 2011.
  • Endeavour was the last shuttle built, and flew 25 missions from May 1992 to June 2011.
  • Enterprise was built for atmospheric tests and never flew in space. It made five "free flight" approach-and-landing tests as a glider in 1977.
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