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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: Question 'bout the Enterprise...
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:26:26 GMT

In article <4rpr9p$> writes:
>>	Why is it that the Enterprise isn't able to go to space? Why the heck
>>was hundreds of millions of dollars spent on something that can't even do
>>what it was intended to do? Is it just some sort of training vehicle used to
>>help pilots practice landing or somesuch?
>The Enterprise was never designed to go into space at all. Indeed, its
>sole purpose for existance was as a test vehicle for re-entry
>experiments and pilot training. Nothing more.

This tiresome myth seems to come up about once a week.  The original
intent was to refurbish Enterprise into an operational orbiter; this is
quite well documented, if one bothers to look.  Unfortunately, Enterprise
was built to quite an early standard, and would need a lot of work.  The
eventual decision was that it would be easier to refurbish the structural
test article instead.  That's why Challenger's "OV" number was out of
sequence with the rest.
If we feared danger, mankind would never           |       Henry Spencer
go to space.                  --Ellison S. Onizuka |

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