John Chakeres' First Fleet began more than 30 years ago with the launch of the first Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981. He saw an opportunity for a long-term photographic project to document the Space Shuttle and contacted NASA with his proposal. NASA granted Chakeres permission to photograph the Shuttle operations at the Kennedy Space Center, and he began his five-year project capturing the sensational launch and landing operations of the four original space shuttles. These never-before-seen images represent a unique time in the history of human spaceflight which was filled with excitement and optimism about the future of space travel. The images are majestic and symbolic and give the viewer a sense of what was required to fly such a complex piece of technology. First Fleet' publication coincides with the 60th anniversary of NASA, October 2018.