Reusable Spacecraft

Jun 19, 2017

Space Minute PSA Series #3: Reusable Spacecraft

Disposable vs. reusable.

For the longest time, that topic centered mainly on razors, pens and diapers.

But back in the 1970s, something new entered into the discussion, and our world would never be the same: a space shuttle.

Launching like a rocket and returning like a glider, this 122-foot long marvel of technology was the world’s first reusable spacecraft.

What’s exciting is that, four decades after the start of the shuttle program, the concept of reusable space components is once again gaining some attention.

This time it’s our new generation of space pioneers, including SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Both have successfully launched reusable rockets, and both believe this approach is key to lowering the cost – and thus the accessibility – of space travel. 

Captain Winston Scott is a retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot and astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions and walked in space three times. He’s now an administrator and faculty member at the Florida Institute of Technology. More information on Space Minutes at wfit.org.