The first space shuttle was made by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA, and the United States military after getting the idea from the Silbervogel proposal. The Silbervogel proposal was part of a German project intended to create an aircraft that could bomb the U.S.
In the 1930s, Germany started the "Amerika Bomber" project. Along with this project, one engineer, Eugen Sanger, submitted a proposal called "Silbervogel." Germans never completed the project, and after World War II, the Silbervogel idea found its way into U.S. hands during Operation Paperclip. The Bureau of Aeronautics started pursuing the concept and involved the NACA, which was the precursor to NASA, and the U.S. military in the project. This led to the manufacturing of the X-15 rocket plane.