The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began a comprehensive series of media briefings on the development and utilization of the nation's space transportation system September 10 at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The series will continue throughout the initial flight testing of Columbia, the first space shuttle in the United States fleet of new Earth-orbiting vehicles.
During the first briefing on ‘Technological Innovation in the Design and Development of the Space Shuttle,’ NASA Administrator Robert Frosch presented an overview of the technological innovation required to design the country's first generation of reusable space vehicles. He identified and described the major advances required by the transition from the country's expendable Saturn launch vehicle capability, developed for the Apollo program, to the first generation of reusable space shuttle vehicles. He also reviewed how NASA and its contractors organized and conducted the various activities associated with those efforts.