Shuttle-Mir History/Spacecraft/Space Shuttle Orbiter/Docking System

Development History of Space Shuttle

STS-71 Shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

In 1969, shortly after the first moon landing of the Apollo program, the President's Space Task Group recommended that the United States initiate a program to develop a new space transportation system. In 1970 NASA initiated engineering, design, and cost studies dealing with the concept of a reusable manned spacecraft that utilized strap-on solid propellant rockets and an expendable liquid fuel/oxidizer tank. On Jan. 5, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon gave NASA authority to proceed with development of this type of reusable space system. NASA selected the Space Transportation Systems Division of Rockwell International, Downey, Calif., to build the orbiters. Rockwell's Rocketdyne Division builds the three main engines used on each orbiter. Morton Thiokol, Brigham City, Utah, makes the solid rocket booster motors, and Martin Marietta Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana, makes the external fuel tank.

Related Links:
Shuttle-Mir Background
Space Shuttle Orbiters
Space Shuttle Sub-Systems
Space Shuttle Orbiters
Space Shuttle Components
A Typical Shuttle Mission
NASA's Orbiter Fleet
Space Shuttle Life
Shuttle Diagrams

Text only version available

This page is best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher or Netscape 4.0 or higher.
Other viewing suggestions.

NASA Web Policy

Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty




Welcome | History | Science | Spacecraft | People | References | Multimedia | Home | Search | Tours | Site Map