The program was launched at the end of the program Apollo at the beginning of 1970s (January 5, 1972 by President Nixon) a time when budgetary restrictions for the NASA already began, what led them to look for the most economic means to maintain a human presence in the space.

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Purpose of the Space Transportation System

Every shuttle was conceived to make hundred of flights. One of the main objectives of the program was to build and to deserve an orbitale space station, what is coming true with the assembly of the international Space station (ISS), and to send satellite in orbit.

The shuttle was also conceived to repair satellites in orbit, and to bring back orbital payloads. It was the case of Solar Max satellite in 1985 and repeatedly the spatial telescope Hubble.

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Thinking ahead to what NASA would do in of human spaceflight after the Apollo Moon in 1969 the President's Space Task Group, by Vice-President Agnew, offered several scenarios. The Task Group report featured three main options: human expedition to Mars, lunar and Earth-orbiting stations, and a reusable space ferry or President Richard Nixon rejected the first two as too expensive. NASA then decided to for a Shuttle as a building block these other goals, especially the space station. officials reasoned that the Shuttle would be popular with Congress and the White House the other, more expensive options. Nevertheless, in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) NASA's budget, eliminating any growth for the future.

During the development program that soon followed, some simply discounted or ignored predictions of such flight rates as unrealistic. Indeed, some managers that such lofty proclamations were really for consumption or public relations purposes and thus not take them seriously. In retrospect, Robert the Shuttle project manager at NASA's Johnson Center (JSC) said that I never felt d fly more than once a month, 18 flights a year [at the maximum]. if virtually all space payloads were to aboard the Shuttle, Thompson couldn t figure the country would want to do with those flights that were predicted by Mathematica.22 key manager remarked that there was a requirement for 55 flights per year mainly support the economics of the system. In the tail was wagging the dog; instead creating a launch system versatile and rugged to launch often and thus reduce operations some people were artificially creating a launch to justify a particular kind of technology.