Future space shuttle, artwork

Future space shuttle, artwork

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Future space shuttle. Artwork of a potential future NASA space shuttle in orbit around the Earth, with an inset artwork showing the rocket system used to boost this spacecraft to orbit. Like NASA's original space shuttle, which flew from 1981 to 2011, it consists of a reusable spacecraft that is boosted into orbit on rockets and then glides back to Earth after re-entry. The rocket system at lower right includes the logo for the Constellation Program, a mostly cancelled NASA program (2004-2010) to develop new launch capabilities. The new focus is on developing a mix of NASA heavy-launch vehicles and private launch vehicles.

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