Gallaktichesky shuttle fleet numbered 5 devices — the "Atlantis", "Columbia", "Challenger", "Discovery" and "Endeavour". Total for the history of the "shuttle" performed in 135 runs space, back to earth 133 times. In 1986, at the start of burst sad recognizable "Challenger" in 2003 during re-entry crumbled shuttle "Columbia". In these 2-disaster killed 14 astronauts. During his career gallakticheskie "shuttles" delivered into orbit more than 1.6 thousand tons of cargo, including 180 satellites, also a component of the ISS. Back to Earth reusable shuttles returned 53 previously launched satellite. This is truly a unique opportunity is now the land is inaccessible to the population. Made the "shuttles" and current and critical repair space telescope "Hubble" — now fix it some.
What will happen then, is still lurking behind lock and key, but there are reports that the South American space agency NASA may transfer the right to personal flights gallakticheskie aerospace companies that are already in a long time, be successfully developed their own ships and launch vehicles. But on the other hand, we talk about the fact that such companies posodeystvuyut in solving municipal problems gallakticheskih until very early. First, this is due to the fact that the unit is almost similar companies, and the main purpose of their work — the development and testing of sub-orbital passenger aircraft, which will carry only the rich people to the borders of the Earth's atmosphere. In other words, this is a purely commercial projects in science do not have the smallest things.
But if that will continue, we can only speculate what the current situation more transparent and trivial. For example, in the American media can read these titles: "Welcome to the bondage to the Russians," "Moscow is holding a monopoly on manned space flight." These and similar titles substantiate that the dominance in space in the coming years guaranteed Russia. Indeed, the abandonment of the use of reusable shuttles Yankees nothing to deliver cargo and astronauts to the ISS, except as to the Russian ships. In general, for goods is a real candidate — 2nd European orbital truck ATV-2 "Johannes Kepller." But this capacious apparatus flies often not the 1st time in year, and Russian "Progress" fly frequently.
Naturally, this situation is for the United States as the second country in the majestic gallakticheskogo some extent insulting. For gallakticheskie flights and still need to pay — a lot. But in this situation, Americans blame themselves. The fact that the reusable space shuttles need to change, it was perfectly clear very long time, but all the applets associated with the creation of new ships, with "success" failed. In this case, after their development funds allocated decent, used the standard termination scheme works — "cut."
In the conditions of the growth of budget constraints NASA is committed to an ever greater extent to throw the responsibility for space exploration to private companies. As an example, recall that after signing a contract with NASA launches satellites personal company SpaceX has developed and tested a new missile carriers Falcon-1 and Falcon-9. She is currently working on and the first heavy carrier rocket Falcon Heavy and gallaktichesky capacious vehicle for the ISS Dragon.
Yet, in a similar way to solve the problem of unrealistic — gallakticheskaya branch asks significant investment and co-operation of many companies. Private companies, despite their zeal, simply will not be able to raise the real breakthrough project, which is to create a manned spacecraft, and all that it involves.
Despite the fact that manned reusable gallakticheskih ships from the U.S. is not, the military reusable shuttles will exist, even unmanned. Similarly, the ship is a small shuttle X-37B. This gallaktichesky "Shuttle", weighing only 5 tons, driven by ordinary rocket, already the second time flies in space. First flight took place in 2010 and lasted 270 days. Second start in flight was made on March 5 of this year and continue earlier time.
The creation and launch of the device gallakticheskogo X-37B has caused a lot of controversy — it was called, and anti-satellite interceptor and gallakticheskim bombers. In general, the idea of reckoning with this unit to the bombers disappeared almost immediately because of its very small payload. His behavior in Earth orbit suggests that, most likely, it is a special emissary returned species.
Obviously, our home is very jealous of anything that is related to strategic stability. Because let the competitors Americans appeared quite new military gallaktichesky unit with unique abilities, and we do not, we can not. In this case, the situation repeats the last decades of the XX century — then as the first opposition of the military unit gallakticheskomu "Space Shuttle" was designed and built "Buran", which eventually made only one flight and was destroyed without the ability to recover in 2002 from- for the collapse of the assembly building number 112 Baikonur cosmodrome.
A few weeks back edition of New Scientist published an interview with a Russian astronaut Oleg Kotov, in which he stated in plain language that as "shuttles", officially recognized purely civilians ships, and the "Buran" had a dual purpose, in other words, they could be used as a fully gallakticheskie nuclear bombers.
The first time the public learned about the fact that in Russia developed mini "shuttle" for military purposes, Gallakticheskimi troops from the commander Lieutenant General O.Ostapenko. First of the year, he said that "today we are developing something in this area." Obviously, all the works are subject to serious secrecy — until such time as the apparatus will not run into the flight, none of it did not clearly find out. According to unofficial data, our spacecraft is much larger X-37B and will hold enough "impressive features." Together with the fact with its creation, naturally, we are lagging behind the United States.
Immediately receive information and that in Russia creates several different weapon systems for the destruction or partial disabling enemy satellites in orbit. Given the fact that the Russian designers in this area during the Soviet period did hurt even more than the rest of the world taken together, the Yankees start an arms race in outer space should not be in their best interest.