Three Decades to a Space Shuttle
Three Decades to a Space Shuttle is the story of the evolution of space flight beginning with G force experiments in 1947 at Edwards Air Force Base. Visionary concepts followed in 1951 and an evolutionary progression to space flight eventually led to the first shuttle flight in 1981, three decades later. The expertise of the American engineering and scientific community is examined which chronologically forged new technology. Columbia's first flight in 1981 was the culmination of a series of evolutionary steps, one at a time, over thirty years. The justifications of major budget allocations are shown and the resulting benefits to world populations are discussed. The space program and Government financing of private industry led to economical stability and brought our technical and scientific capability to a level not thought possible thirty years ago. Joint cooperation between American industry and government combined with foreign competition has enhanced world business and trade. A study of the past shows us what our possibilities can be in the future and what new frontiers we may experience.
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