The first space shuttle to be launched into space on 12th April 1981 was the "Columbia". From 1983 onwards, with the completion of more orbiters, NASA considerably intensified their scientific experiments and strategic military activities in collaboration with the US Air Force. Communication and research satellites were transported into space, on-the-spot repairs were carried out and the American space station was built up and provisioned. The "Challenger" was launched into space for the first time on 4th April 1983. The "Discovery" lifted off for the first time on 30th August 1984. Since 3rd October 1985 the fourth space shuttle, the "Atlantis", has been used for 26 missions. The "Endeavour" was launched for the first time on 7th May 1992. The orbiters can remain in space for up to 28 days. Due to two tragic accidents in which the whole crew lost their lives, the "Challenger was lost in 1986 and the "Columbia" in 2003. Flights resumed after a two-year interruption and extensive modifications to the orbiters and the main tank. When it landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 9th August 2005, the 31st flight of the "Discovery" brought the 114th NASA space shuttle mission to a successful conclusion. When shuttle flights are resumed in the next few years the construction of the international space station ISS will continue. The European space lab "Columbus" will also take part.