19 April 2012
Opinion - Vehicles (Bad)
Five Horrifying Facts
That you didn't know about the Space Shuttle
by Carol Pinchefsky
Criticizing the Space Shuttle is like punching America in the face. After all, it’s been a symbol of national pride for thirty years. But many of my friends and I are celebrating yesterday’s piggy-backed final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum…because a museum is where the shuttle belongs.

Yes, the Shuttle deserves a tip of the hat—after all, it took us to the final frontier. But as the [on again/off again] editor of the Space Future Journal, a website dedicated to space tourism, I’ve met people who are as enthusiastic about average citizens, not trained astronauts, visiting space as I am. And we know the Shuttle wasn’t the vehicle to take us there.

To us, the Shuttle was an obstacle.

I spoke to Will Watson, executive director of the Space Frontier Foundation, and he spelled out a few not-so-fun facts about the Space Shuttle. And maybe, just maybe, after reading this, you might think about it the same way as we do.

1. The Shuttle killed more people than any other space vehicle in history.

The explosion of the Challenger killed seven people, six astronauts and one Teacher in Space participant, during the launch of its 10th mission in 1986. The explosion of the Columbia killed seven more during re-entry of its 28th mission in 2003.

For the rest of my article, see the original on Forbes.com.
Share |
Carol Pinchefsky 19 April 2012
Please send comments, critiques and queries to feedback@spacefuture.com.
All material copyright Space Future Consulting except as noted.