Worst mistake NASA ever made.
The Space Shuttle, as DESIGNED would have been much safer that what actually came about.
The biggest issue, was the shuttle DID NOT EXPLORE.
We'd just come off the moon program, the F-1 engines in the Saturn V launch vehicle were so damn good, out of
all of the flights of the Saturn V (each booster had 5 engines), only ONE failed during flight. Had development
continued, we would have explored the moon like we should have, established a "base" for research and could
possibly used it as a jumping off point for Mars, but, once we "beat the Russians" to the moon, the public pretty
much turned a blind eye to space, dealing with Vietnam, the Watergate scandal and on and on. Nasa took a backseat,
and wanted something "exciting". Talks of building a space station, using the shuttle banded about.
It's a shame the Apollo program was left to die on the vine, the potential was very good, we'd have a permanent station
on the moon now. I was 10 years old when we landed on the moon...just wonder what might have been.