The Shuttle Era saw over one hundred spectacular missions, full of technical and scientific successes; and sadly, two fatal disasters. Learn about these amazing craft and their achievements here!
The race to the Moon was over. US astronauts had walked on the Moon a dozen times. It was time, many in the US Congress felt, to look at a scaling back the US Space Program. Time to develop a more cost-efficient way to reach Space. Time to stop building mammoth Saturn V rockets that could only be used once. The US Space Shuttle program proved the feasibility of re-usable spacecraft. The Shuttles collectively flew over 100 missions; each starting with a breathtaking launch, making the huge, orange external fuel tank, the twin solid-fuel boosters, with the Shuttle hanging underneath after the post-liftoff roll maneuver an iconic image, forever imprinted on our minds. But the Space Shuttle program also put an end to Man’s direct exploration of the Moon, and to the development of a manned Mars expedition, as the US committed most of NASA’s budget to only funding Low Earth Orbit missions, and the eventual International Space Station. This page of the Next-Generation-Space site is dedicated to those hundred flights.
Here, you will be able to learn about the various shuttles themselves: Enterprise, Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, and Endeavor. How were the shuttles designed? Who built them? How much did they cost? Why was the fleet eventually retired? Learn about their crews, the experiments they carried out, their successes, and even, sadly, their failures and losses. We welcome input from anyone. We want this to be your page!
Contact info(a)next-generation-space.com with any articles, images, videos, or suggestions you may have for the site, or if you would like to volunteer to help build this page. We are looking for someone who is either already knowledgable about the Space Shuttles and their history, or who is willing to do some research and fill out, expand, and curate this page. If you have a passion for the Shuttle Program, share it with us!
Here you can view and download images from NASA related to the Space Shuttle Era: