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.”

September's Archived Features:

Wednesday September 1, 2021
Thursday September 2, 2021
Friday September 3, 2021
Saturday September 4, 2021
Sunday September 5, 2021
Monday September 6, 2021
Tuesday September 7, 2021
Wednesday September 8, 2021
Thursday September 9, 2021
Friday September 10, 2021
Saturday September 11, 2021
Sunday September 12, 2021
Monday September 13, 2021
Tuesday September 14, 2021
Wednesday September 15, 2021
Thursday September 16, 2021
Friday September 17, 2021



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.