Conceived as a way to reach a U.S. space station that was never built, the space shuttle wound up enabling construction of the International Space Station that is just coming on line as the shuttle era ends. The seeds of the ISS were planted at the very beginning of shuttle development, when NASA gave Europe a role in its new reusable launch system as a way both to defray its cost and to keep European ambitions in the space-launch arena in check. Out of that Cold War calculus was ...

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