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The shuttle was, if you will, a second-generation step in developing the art and science of learning how to fly in space. Exactly what did people expect? That we were going to figure it out perfectly, starting out in 1971 and '2, only a decade after the very human spaceflight had been done? I mean, we've been flying airplanes for a hundred years and we still figure out subtle ways to kill ourselves with them. The human race has been doing open-ocean maritime voyaging for over a thousand years, and we still lose ships. Starting the space shuttle a decade after the first-ever human spaceflight, anybody who thought we were going to figure it out and get it just right was drinking too much Kool-Aid. When I look at the legacy of the shuttle, I look at it in a positive tone. I look at it and say that ninety percent of all people who have flown into space have flown on board the space shuttle. This is a vehicle that really allowed us to learn how to live and work in space. This is a vehicle that really allowed us to learn how to do EVA. It's a vehicle that allowed us to build the space station.
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