Birth of the Space Shuttle Program
On January 5, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed legislation authorizing the creation of America’s first space shuttle, the “world’s first reusable spacecraft.”
NASA began studying the possibility of space shuttles in the late 1960s. Then in 1969, President Nixon created the Space Task Group, led by Vice President Spiro Agnew. The group established a list of missions that included the creation of space vehicles, a space station, and eventually a manned mission to Mars.