• Question: why are alot of space shuttles in america are not being used after a couple of years? do the get damaged in space?

    Asked by bradleyfox911 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi Bradley. Sara can probably answer this better than me. The space shuttles are pretty old, and they are getting less safe as they get older. Every launch has some risk, but the risk is increasing. Like a car, it also gets more expensive over time to maintain. More things need fixing, and you can’t get the parts.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi Bradley,

      I also imagine that the technology is getting better and better – if you have made a new better version of a space shuttle you are unlikely to want to take an old banger of a shuttle up there on a journey…and yeah they do probably get damaged as well!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi bradleyfox! The shuttles that we have still been using in the space program were originally built in the late70’s and early 80’s. Most of us won’t even drive cars that are that old!! We’ve kept using the shuttle though because they are amazing feats of engineering and they are really reliable. But, they are expensive to build. Really really expensive. However, they are getting really old now. So old they are no longer reliable so the shuttle program is being retired. Hopefully it will be replaced with something even better!!

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Not entirely sure but i guess cus science is constanly improving and technology and safety increases so newer model need to be used.. also i rrreckon it’s unlikey they’ll reuse a spaceship because they are put under alot of stress, extremes of temperatures and pressures throughout thier space lifespan…