January 05, 1972 : Nixon launches the space shuttle program

Introduction

Also on this day in presidential history, Richard Nixon signs a bill authorizing $5.5 million in funding to develop a space shuttle. The space shuttle represented a giant leap forward in the technology of space travel. Designed to function more like a cost-efficient “reusable” airplane than a one-use-only rocket-launched capsules, the shuttle afforded NASA pilots and scientists more time in space with which to conduct space-related research. NASA launched Columbia, the first space shuttle, in 1981.

Article Details:

January 05, 1972 : Nixon launches the space shuttle program

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    January 05, 1972 : Nixon launches the space shuttle program

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nixon-launches-the-space-shuttle-program

  • Access Date

    November 25, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks