It was August 12, 1977 when the Space Shuttle Enterprise made the first free flight after being carried to about 27.000 feet on the back of a modified 747. The television coverage footage here is an awesome way to watch it how it happened, live for all to see. It's an amazing way to experience both the dawn of a whole new era in spaceflight, and to see old school broadcasting.
If you don't have the time to soak it all in realtime, jump up to about 4:30 for the actual separation. Looking back, it's great to see what success story this first flight was. It was a great time to be alive... I remember that for sure!
This video ends while on the descent. To see the rest of the approach and the touchdown, watch the video below. Touchdown is at 2:39.
I must say, my emotions have been thoroughly stirred.