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[i]TsNIIMash specialists came to the conclusion that the Space Shuttle would never become economically viable if it was only used for the goals that NASA announced ... This was not simply a program to develop some space system ... to lower costs (Russian studies show no cost savings at all). It clearly had a focused military goal.[/i]
[i]The IPM studies focused on the Shuttle's possible use as a bomber, more particularly its capability to launch a nuclear first strike...[/i]
[i]When we analyzed the trajectories from Vandenberg we saw that it was possible for any military payload to re-enter from orbit in three and a half minutes to the main centers of the USSR. You might feel this is ridiculous but you must understand how our leadership, provided with that information, would react. The military, very sensitive to the variety of possible means of delivering the first strike, suspecting that a first-strike capability might be the Vandenberg Shuttle's objective, and knowing that a first strike would be decisive in a war, responded predictably" (this means they built their own).[/i]
[i]Studies ... showed the Space Shuttle could carry out a return maneuver from a half or single orbit ... approach Moscow or Leningrad from the south, and then, drop in this region a nuclear charge, and in combination with other means paralyze the military command system of the Soviet Union.[/i]
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