The main purpose of the space shuttle was to take things into space such as sattelites and to build the space station.
For this mission nasal had to come up/make a lightweight suit that would protect the astronauts from heat and impact. They also had to develop a better software, and rockets that would survie reentry.
We had gotten better suits for firefighters, new water purification, LED.s, and better structural analysis technology.
From the space shuttle launches we were able to gain a better understanding on plants and animals, and the effect of not having any gravity. This is because the ISS was built up there and they preformed experiments up there.
1981 to 2011
In the 1980's the GPS was invented, the CD-ROM, Flash memory, and the world wide web was invented.
Major events would include, the classification of aids, the movie ET was released, Vietnam War Memorial Opened, and the someone attempted to assassinate the pope.
After the space shuttle was discontinued new projects such as project Orion, and other multipurpose vehicles are being invented.