NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Start of the Space Shuttle programme. NASA Administrator James Fletcher (left) demonstrates a model of the Space Shuttle concept to President Richard Nixon. This photograph was taken on 5 January 1972, the day that the President announced the beginning of the Space Shuttle programme. The model seen here, although differing in some design points, has the same general layout as the now-familiar Space Shuttle: a central fuel tank, two solid rocket boosters and the Shuttle itself 'riding' the tank. The initial contract, for five orbiters, was valued at $2.6 billion in 1972. The contract to replace orbiter Challenger was valued at $1.3 billion in 1987.
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