Reply to post: Re: Boo, hiss

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station


Re: Boo, hiss

Fairly certain that there were no unmanned shuttle missions.

Some stats:

Up until Challenger exploded the space shuttle was 1 failure from 25 launches (96% success)

Up until Columbia it was 2 failures from 113 launches (98.3%)

Final total was 2 failures from 135 launches (98.5%)

Falcon9 is currently 1 failure from 19 launches (95% success)

It's probably worth noting that the Space Shuttle was man rated from day 1 and so had a much more stringent test process before it was launched, to say nothing of the development cost.

After both Challenger and Columbia there was around a 2.5 year delay before the shuttle flew again. 8 months between Apollo 13 and Apollo 14 and it looks like SpaceX will have around a 1.5-2 year gap between this year's failure and the first crewed ISS flight (although there will be unmanned launches between now and then). The massive delays for the shuttle program were largely because the first flight back had to be manned so they had to be absolutely certain that they fixed the problem. And also they lost the crew which is always going to make people nervous. The really remarkable one is Apollo 14. You'd need balls of steel to be the first guys to get on the rocket that soon after a very nearly life ending situation like Apollo 13.

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