Return to Human Space Flight home page


The Evolving Space Shuttle: Upgrading to a Safer, Cheaper and More Capable Spacecraft


Today's Space Shuttle, still less than one-quarter of the way through its design lifetime, is safer, more capable and less expensive to fly than ever before thanks to enhancements from new technologies incorporated into the original Shuttle design and improvements to the Shuttle's operation.

Since the first flight of Columbia in 1981, the Space Shuttle has launched more than 2 million pounds of cargo and over 500 passengers into orbit. The Shuttle continues to be the most reliable launch vehicle in the world, with unique capabilities that are unmatched.
Space Shuttle Development Conference

Space Shuttle Development Conference provides the opportunity for organizations to present emerging technologies and system concepts as candidates for upgrades to the Space Shuttle.
Shuttle Upgrade Elements


Program Goals


Our goals and objectives are to identify, prioritize and implement the safety, operations, maintenance, and technology upgrades across the Space Shuttle Program that ensure safe, affordable, human-rated access to space into the twenty-first century.

Please continue, to discover how our upgrades and candidate upgrades address these goals and objectives.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices