With the final launch of NASA's space shuttle program scheduled for Friday, it's the perfect time to do a little shuttle retrospective. Over on mental_floss, Miss Cellania talks about the beginnings of the 35-year space shuttle program and what NASA has to do with Star Trek.
As soon as Apollo 11 delivered astronauts to the lunar surface, NASA was asked to develop a new space program that would be more immediately useful and (most importantly) more cost-efficient. The Apollo program continued through mission 17 in 1972, but meanwhile engineers were developing a reusable spacecraft. It was a totally new concept, a vehicle tough enough to go into space, complete mission after mission, and land on earth with such little damage that it could be sent up again. We didn’t see the first space shuttle until 1976. It was called Enterprise.
Link via MissCellania