Space Shuttle

While still in the conceptual stage of development during the period of time covered in this exhibit, the Space Shuttle as we knew it during its operation from 1981 to 2011 began to take shape as early as 1969. Although the concept of a reusable spacecraft was commented upon in earlier reports, the first mention of a Space Shuttle in the series of films presented here was in the report for the first quarter of 1969. The Space Shuttle was originally conceived as part of the Apollo Applications Program (later known as Skylab missions), envisioned as a reusable craft ferrying astronauts and supplies to and from the program’s Orbital Workshop. The shuttle, however, did not achieve operational status until long after the Apollo Application Program’s manned missions ended in 1974.

Saturn V