On this day in history, 1972, NASA issued a request for proposals for the development of the Space Shuttle orbiter. Responses were received by May 17, 1972 from Rockwell, Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, and Lockheed.
Yesterday: Supertanker Spills 68 Million Gallons of Oil
On July 25, 1972 the International Space Division of Rockwell received a $2.6 billion contract to develop and manufacture the Space Shuttle orbiter. The first orbiter, Enterprise, took off on its maiden flight in 1977. The unpowered glider was carried by a modified Boeing 747 airliner called the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. It was then released for a number of atmospheric test flights and landing.
Five other orbiters were built by Rockwell, and they were all fully operational spacecraft.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense