Vintage Austin: Space Shuttle Columbia

In 1981, on it’s way to Cape Canaveral to be prepared for its third orbital flight, the space shuttle Columbia made a refueling stop at Bergstrom Air Force Base, now Austin Bergstrom Airport.  While it was here in Austin, base officials wanted to allow as many people to see the shuttle as possible, so they opened the gates to the base and allowed thousands of cars through to get a glimpse. Fun Fact: one of the few remaining buildings from the base is the Twelfth Air Force Headquarters building that is now the circular Hilton Hotel.

Photo Credit: Austin History Center, AR-2000-024-261

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