The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system that was operated from 1981 to 2011 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program.Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. This flight used Space Shuttle Enterprise. NASA's space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 and continued to set high marks of achievement and endurance through 30 years of missions. NASA's space shuttles are retiring this year, but America has no spaceship to replace them, leaving many to wonder: Why not?

It replaced the Apollo capsules. The news rankled members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee during a hearing Wednesday on thestatus of the shuttle replacement effort, called the … NASA has finished building the first of its new Ares I rockets slated to replace the aging space shuttle fleet and return astronauts to the moon - a gleaming white booster due to blast off this fall. The Space Shuttle, which has been used since 1982, is ready to be replaced. Space shuttle, partially reusable rocket-launched vehicle designed to go into orbit around Earth, to transport people and cargo to and from orbiting spacecraft, and to glide to a runway landing on its return to Earth’s surface. Orbital impacts and the Space Shuttle windshield Karen S. Edelstein NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) ES2/Structures and Dynamics Branch Houston, TX 77058 ABSTRACT The Space Transportation System (STS) fleet has flown more than sixty … The first shuttle flight in space was on April 12, 1981. The first flight was a test of the landing and maneuvering abilities of the shuttle. It was developed by NASA and made 135 spaceflights between 1981 and 2011. It used Space Shuttle Columbia.