Space Transportation System. The space shuttle launches are numbered as STS-xxx. The second piece of the STS is the ISS - International Space Station. Later parts of the STS were a Space Tug to higher orbits like geosychronous orbits where many communication satellites are needing refueling or repair, and also to the lunar space station at Lagrange point L5 (a stable point between earth and moon). Exploration missions would depart from L5 station to the moon, or on to other places in solar system. STS was designed in 1972. Shuttle was launched in 1981, ISS was launched in 1998 and will be completed in 2010. ISS portion scheduled to end 2016. No further portions of STS will be developed as new space architecture of the Orion 'Contellation' program are being developed, with Ares 1 testing begining in October, first launch no earlier than 2016. Mobile launch platform one used for over 50 shuttle launches was retired on Wednesday March 25, 2009 and will be used for Ares testing. The current space transportation system shuttle will fly it's last mission in September 2010 - unless changes are made!
Space shuttle launch engineer for 30 years. In 18 months - Will launch for food.