Mission Length: April 12-14, 1981
Crew: John Young and Robert Crippen
Description: A look at Columbia as she sits on the launchpad prior to the launch of the first shuttle mission.
Trivia: The beginning of the shuttle era, this was the first manned launch since Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975. The large external tank was actually painted white during the first two shuttle missions to supposedly protect it from ultraviolet rays while it was on the pad. That proved to be unnecessary, and by the third mission, the tank was kept its original rust color to cut back on the weight at liftoff. Yeah, that was a lot of paint.
There are plenty more photos available. If you love space, or are just curious about the history from 1964-1983, be sure to check it out. If you are lucky enough to live in London, visit the exhibit in person.
Source: Breese Little gallery