MARC: Do you have any details on what would of been different with the Shuttle is it hadn't been the bastard child of NASA and the Military? ---
The wings would of been smaller, the air force wanted "cross range" capability. The cargo hold would of been smaller, air force again wanted the big 15 x 60 feet for some of their cargos.
The Hubble Space Telescope would of had to be lifted by titan (?) booster or be much smaller to fit NASA's original shuttles cargo hold. the current size module for the ISS wouldn't fit either. Many of the satelites NASA lifted through the years would have fit, but not the deep space probes.
The smaller shuttle still could of performed crew transfers.
In a way it sounds like the the military demands stopped the shuttle from being a total turkey. I'm not sure how a small capacity would of really helped things unless I'm totally dense this morning.
Or was the intention to use the Titans etc to do the heavy lifting the shutttle would then launch and do the final work in space?