Tribute to the shuttle

THE SPACE SHUTTLE IS PERHAPS the most complex technological system ever built. In 30 years, it has launched 135 times and helped humankind to dispatch and partially even return many satellites and deep-space probes, to build the International Space Station and to conduct out-of-this-world science. The shuttle has transported also 24 European astronauts to Earth orbit on 25 missions.

This short video highlights the flights that had a European flavour—from STS-9 in 1983 to STS-134 in May 2011.

Adapted from information issued by ESA.

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Filed Under: Featured storiesNews ArchiveShuttle / StationSpaceflightVideos


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  1. Joey says:

    I was lucky enough to see a shuttle launch live and it should of been on everyone’s bucket list! It is indescribable the feeling you get from the most exhilarating sight and sound anyone can ever witness (although you don’t hear it on tv it sounded like the largest popcorn maker going off)

    One of humankind’s greatest engineering conquests…..but the truth is that it was objectively a failure.

    It was billed as a reusable craft that could frequently, safely, and cheaply bring people and payloads to low Earth orbit. NASA originally said the shuttles could handle 65 launches per year; the most launches it actually did in a year was nine; over the life of the program, it averaged five per year. NASA predicted each shuttle launch would cost $50 million; they actually averaged $500 million. NASA said the risk of catastrophic failure was around one in 100,000; NASA engineers put the number closer to one in a hundred.

    Let’s hope the next new model actually comes up to spec because as human beings it is our duty to explore the cosmos. I’m a bit concerned with it going down the road of private enterprise instead of government (NASA) because private companies aren’t there to lose money……