[ExI] new heavy lifter

John Clark Jonkc at bellsouth.net
Wed Apr 6 17:18:55 UTC 2011

On Apr 5, 2011, at 2:10 PM, spike wrote:
> I often hear the comment that the space shuttle’s capability was exaggerated (30 tons to LEO, 12 tons return.)  It never came close to either, but it was *theoretically* capable of both of these goals in its final configuration. 

Originally we were told that a Space Shuttle would have a turnaround time of only 2 weeks and could make 25 trips a year, but they were lucky to get 3 trips a year. Originally we were told the probability of catastrophic failure was astronomically unlikely, but the true figure was about 2% per flight. Originally we were told that because its reusable the cost of putting something into orbit would drop by many orders of magnitude, but we'd have done better if we never heard of the shuttle and just kept on making Saturn 5's.

 John K Clark     
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