ADVANTAGES OF SHUTTLES
- In principle, they are cheaper to operate, given a quick
turn-around and enough flights per year.
- They can fetch as well as carry, bringing down large
payloads from orbit for repairing or servicing.
- Shuttles land on runways like aircraft, simpler and safer
than parachuting into the sea like older space capsules
- Shuttles are designed to be long-lasting and once were
regarded as tough work horses, but since the Challenger they are recognised
as fragile craft.
ADVANTAGES OF ROCKETS
- Less complex, because they only need to work once, not
- Much cheaper for launching small unmanned satellites,
because, unlike the shuttles, they do not need all the equipment to support
life in space.
- Familiar, proven technology which at present provides
a better guarantee of getting a commercial satellite into orbit on time.
- Rockets are easier to launch. For example, Russians send
up two rockets a week without elaborate preparations.
Lists from "Space Shuttles, A
New Era?", NIGEL HAWKES, Aladdin Books LTD, 1989