When the space shuttle was announced in 1972 it was seen as the space vehicle to make low earth orbit space travel and living in space an everyday reality. But in hindsight many now believe that it was a failed project that was hamstrung by lack of funding.
And interest by government and sky high expectations from NASA that led them to sideline safety to ensure scheduled launches continued on time in order to secure future funding.
Instead of expanding man’s horizons, it in fact limited them and stopped the development more effective, safer forms of both manned and unmanned space transport.
It ultimately become the deadliest space vehicle in history and more expensive than the expendable rocket systems it was meant to replace.But wasn’t meant to be like this, NASA had originally proposed the Space Transport System or STS as it was known.
Which was a system of reusable manned space vehicles in 1969 as the successor to the Apollo program. The two main goals of the STS were to reduce the cost of spaceflights by replacing the then current rockets like the Saturn 5 that took men to the moon and that could only be used once, with reusable spacecraft.