After a five-month design study focusing on alternatives to a winged (and manned) reusable first stage bosoter for the upcoming Space Shuttle, NASA settles on a configuration consisting of two solid rocket boosters strapped to the shuttle’s external fuel tank. Among the alternatives considered was the possibility of restarting production of the Saturn V rockets that launched Apollo and Skylab missions, with the shuttle and its fuel tank separating from the Saturn V’s first stage at high altitude (though in this configuration, a failure of the shuttle’s main engines would prove to be catastrophic). The SRB/tank configuration is expected to shave half a billion dollars off of the shuttle’s development costs.
Solid rocket boosters picked for shuttle
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