In 1981 the Space Shuttle program launched its first shuttle. This would then grow into a full program spanning 30 years. With 135 missions completed it may seem like a win. But economically it was back and forth. When it was designed it was meant to cost possibly 40 million per launch, but then turned into 1.5 billion per launch. It also became the most deadly spacecraft having killed 14 astronauts. It also was incapable for moon missions and missions to Mars as it was planned for. But, it was the main carrier for building the ISS and carried many satellites and telescopes to space. But is that enough to outmeasure to cons. Talk about it in the comments.

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    3,524 vghfr

    ehhh I love it to death but it sucked

    3.6 years ago
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    @Bmcclory Ironically that is likely the reason why NASA has failed to provide a suitable replacement; by continuing to use said engines they are finding extremely limited ways in which to use them. Even more doubtful that leftover Saturn V parts would be any better, but if we are ever going to see NASA beat out corporate space programs, we ought to vote Trump out, and somehow redistribute tax funding so NASA gets not all but a definite higher proportion of the government budget; just 50 billion of the 600 for military budget would suffice for a couple of dozen missions to different planetary system.

    +1 4.1 years ago
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    @MarioG Even if they were reusable they aren’t and likely wouldn’t be SpaceX reusable: they’ll be waterlogged long before they get refurbished.

    4.1 years ago
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    I think ANYTHING to do with putting SRBs on a space plane design was a truly horrible idea. Say what you want but they had the SRBs also in mind for lesser known Saturn V variants, of which would likely to still have a launch abort system.

    Not that I hate space planes either; getting them into orbit using something like a Falcon 9 or rockets which have the TWR but can be shut down immediately could have made it extremely reasonable. IIRC they had a concept drawn up to put a Dynasoar-akin space plane on a Saturn V.

    But strapping relatively ultra-cheap SRBs onto a several billion dollar space plane (at least in today’s inflated money) is far more of a risk and, at the time, a political move which convinced the Soviets to copy us despite their budget constraints, was a good (albeit questionably) and a bad thing. A good example of where this is evident: We just had to alter a 747 to carry ours back to the space center; they had to make the largest plane in the world to do the same objective.

    4.1 years ago
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    1,026 Osprey23

    @Orbit I agree, without an abort system, it becomes a literal missile. If I’m correct, NASA hired Lockheed Martin to calculate chance of success, and they put it at 7%. So NASA tested more to help get it higher than that. The main problem was the SRBs, sure they provided more than 60% thrust at liftoff to help. But if something happened that forced the crew to abort (which they couldn’t in the first place) they would have to “ride out” the boosters, because their planned abort system couldn’t escape them without up from the exhaust.

    4.2 years ago
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    22 Orbit

    i would say the biggest design flaw is the fact there was no proper abort system. i think anyone can agree that when it comes to something like human space travel an abort system is a must

    4.2 years ago
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    1,026 Osprey23

    @MarioG yes it was that, I heard that they had gotten so far as to testing the motor

    4.2 years ago
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    45.4k MarioG

    @Osprey23 that was the RS-68 but development was cancelled

    4.2 years ago
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    1,026 Osprey23

    @MarioG I would have to agree, they was actually supposed to be engines that were expendable, they were basically the same as the RS-25 engine, but made out of carbon-like material, but they soon figured out that they would melt if paced beside the SRBs on the NLS (which is a whole other thing)

    4.2 years ago
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    45.4k MarioG

    @Bmcclory the fact that those RS-25s are going to just be dumped into the ocean is awful imo :(

    4.2 years ago

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