—From “1976’s Star Spangled Shuttle, The First Space Commuter” by William Furlong, from the July/August 1973 issue of the Post
The American people committed more than $25 billion to the manned space program and did not shrink from the awesome prodigality of the program. We used, but had to abandon, some $280 million worth of equipment on each of the Apollo-Saturn flights.
In the next phase, we’ll be flying in reusable space shuttles that can take off like a rocket, fly like a spacecraft, and return to earth like a conventional plane.
We’ll be doing it at a fraction of the cost of the Apollo program because so much of the equipment will be recovered and used again. Thus it cost $1,000 to lift one pound into space during the Apollo program. In the space shuttle, it will cost approximately $100 to lift one pound into space [because] we’ll be able to reuse every bit of equipment on the space shuttle with the exception of one fuel tank per flight.
This article is featured in the July/August 2023 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
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