Brief History of the Shuttle

A Rocket to Nowhere. Maciej of IdleWords provides a wonderfully detailed background of how the shuttle came together amidst bureaucratic Cold War paranoia, and how America’s manned space program today is falling behind the successes of NASA’s unmanned push. The writing and research are superb, and the analogy to Portugal constructing a massive artificial island as foil to the “explorers” analogy is perfect. (Thanks to filmgoerjuan for the link. Now I know why Maciej’s bookmarks have been full of space stuff lately.)


  1. filmgoerjuan says:

    One of my favourite lines (among many): “You know you’re in trouble when the Russians are adding safety features to your design.” Hehehe.

    Thanks for the link love, bp.

  2. Paulo — check out for info on what could have been —

    “If Dyna-Soar and the Space Launching System had been completed, the United States would have had by 1965 a modern modular launch vehicle launching a reusable manned spaceplane — something it now hopes to accomplish with the Delta IV / OSP by 2010. The nation could have been spared the false premise of the shuttle program and had a space station ferry in being by the beginning of the 1970’s. It might even have been flying well into the 21st Century, while the Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle were consigned to the trash heaps of history.”

  3. Paulo says:

    John – a weird moment of synchronicity! I was just reading about the Dyna-Soar and the MOL just as I received notification of your comment. Things that could have been…