quote: Then the Soviets launched Sputnik. We needed to put something into space too ASAP, the cost didn't matter. This eventually led to huge amounts of research dollars and time being invested in an ultimately inefficient method of putting things into space.
quote: The Space Shuttle has to come in at a pretty shallow angle when it reenters the atmosphere so it can bleed off speed before it hits the denser air. Otherwise it would burn up.