Space Shuttle vs Ares & Orion Vehicles


Expert Member
Mar 24, 2005
I've read that Nasa are retiring the shuttles, and replacing them with new rockets (Ares and Orion) for missions to the Moon and maybe Mars. But why are they retiring and not replacing with similar vehicles? These new rockets appear to not have the capabilities that the shuttles have such as a robot arm, ability to support space walks, or ability to bring large cargo back to earth. My understanding is the new rockets look similar to those used for the original moon landings, yet now Nasa won't have shuttles which have the ability to be used for further space station(s) construction. The hubble telescope can't be serviced again either after the shuttles are retired? Seems a bit odd. I would have thought amongst building a moon base they'd want to build bigger and better space stations? An all purpose vehicle would be a great solution, one that can be like a shuttle and a moon lander. I'm no rocket scientist but I'm sure there is a good reason for probably


Senior Member
Apr 13, 2005
Because 15 000 rocket scientists and world-leading engineers said so.

Shuttle - past lifespan, costly, higher risk, lower capacity
Hubble - past lifespan, plans on table for next generation space telescopes with 100+ times improvements, Ares can accomodate these where Shuttle can't
Ares/Constellation - target Moon and Mars, shuttle only for low Earth orbit
Different strategy - crew and heavy cargo on separate launch systems


Expert Member
Sep 27, 2007
and dont forget the loss of challenger and columbia. only russia still use there rockets that was used at the same time as nasa's apollo. hehe.