Space Shuttle: A Horizon Guide

Space Shuttle: A Horizon Guide

Sun, 07/28/2013 - 8:00pm


It was three decades ago that the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched. It was such a triumph of technology, engineering and organization that it's easy to forget the program was primarily the product of an economy drive. The disposable Apollo missions had cost billions. A reusable craft was deemed more expedient.

The Shuttle story has been characterized by incredible triumphs, but blighted by devastating tragedies – and the BBC and Horizon have chronicled every step of its career. Space Shuttle: A Horizon Guide, airing Sunday, July 28 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV, brings together coverage from three decades of programs to present a biography of the shuttle and to ask what its legacy will be. Will it be remembered as an impressive chapter in human space exploration, or as a fatally flawed white elephant?