The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. It was used for orbital space missions by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, Japan, and Germany.
The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Major missions included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. Enterprise was a prototype orbiter used for atmospheric testing during development in the 1970s, and lacked an engine or heat shield. Five space-worthy orbiters were built--two were destroyed in accidents and the others have been retired.
Source: Wikipedia, "Space Shuttle", available under the CC-BY-SA License.