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The Size of the Shuttle Compared to Our Current Space Ride

Illustration for article titled The Size of the Shuttle Compared to Our Current Space Ride

On the left: the most complex and amazing spacecraft ever built by mankind. It took our astronauts to space for 30 years. On the right: a tin can. It'll take our astronatus to space for... whatever. I'm depressed. [Chromatic House]


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To be fair, the Shuttle's body count is a lot bigger, too:

Shuttle: 14

Soyuz: 4

Yes, they are tied at two accidents each, but the Soyuz accidents happened near the the beginning of over 40 years of continuous service, while the Shuttle was dangerous all through its lifespan.

Sometimes simpler is better, especially when you are dealing with something as dangerous as spaceflight. Both Shuttle accidents can be traced back to fundamental flaws in the design (using SRBs in place of liquid fuel boosters, having the crew return vehicle's heat shield located right next to a fuel tank covered with ice and insulation). I honestly think our people are safer riding the Soyuz into orbit.