It's turtles all the way down.©
Yeah, I got your back--didn't want you to get in trouble!
We learned a lot about how to and how not to deal with reusable spacecraft from the shuttle program and we've done nothing useful with that knowledge.
Exactly! It feels like we are starting from scratch. I know NASA is sharing knowledge with SpaceX, but a lot knowledge is also being lost for stupid-ass political reasons. It's sad that we can't even get a rocket to reliably deliver cargo to the International Space Station -- It's upsetting and depressing!
The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings