This model represents the final Space Shuttle design that emerged from NASA-industry studies in 1969-1972. This design was selected as the best combination of a reusable orbiter, a disposable external tank, and two recoverable solid rocket boosters after it became evident that a completely reusable system would be too large and too costly. The model depicts the orbiter Columbia and the Shuttle "stack" poised for launch on the mobile launch platform and crawler transporter. Rockwell International, Space Shuttle prime contractor, presented this model to the Museum shortly after the first mission in 1981.
Gift of Rockwell International Corporation