This Day in History
Test Firing of the Main Engine

Test Firing the Main Engine on the Space Shuttle
July 12, 1980

On July 12, 1980, one of the main engines of the space shuttle was tested. Mort Künstler was there to see it and paint the event as part of a commission from Rockwell International, the prime contractor. Künstler said, “It is blistering hot in Mississippi in the middle of July, and when the engine fired I thought that if the heat did not get me, the sound would. The noise was almost deafening, even though I was standing several miles away.”

July's Archived Features:

Wednesday July 1, 2020
Thursday July 2, 2020
Friday July 3, 2020
Saturday July 4, 2020
Sunday July 5, 2020
Monday July 6, 2020
Tuesday July 7, 2020
Wednesday July 8, 2020
Thursday July 9, 2020
Friday July 10, 2020
Saturday July 11, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.