For the last 30 years of its legacy, NASA’s space shuttles have completed amazing sets of accomplishment. However, after 135 space flights, the legacy of NASA space shuttles has ended. The final flight of the reusable space plane fleet of NASA has ended in 2011. Below is the statistics of the 30-year old space plane icon.
• 3,513,638 Pounds – The weight of cargo that space shuttles have carried into orbit.
• $209 Billion – This number represents the total cost of NASA’s space exploration in space for the last 30 years. This cost covers the expenses of the space shuttle program and exploration from its development until it retired in 2011.
• 198, 728.5 – The number of hours in Earth that NASA’s space shuttles have spent into orbit during its 30 years of service. It’s equal to 8, 280 days space flights.
• 229,132 Pounds – The weight of cargo, which NASA’s space shuttles have carried on Earth from the outer space.
• 20, 830 – The total number of orbits of the Earth completed by space shuttles before their last 13-day mission in 2011.
• 1,232 – The total number of days NASA’s space shuttles flights from April 1981 to July 2011. This number also includes the 13 days flight of the shuttle in the Atlantis mission.
• 833 – This is the number of the total crew members of all 135 missions of NASA’s space shuttles. This includes the numbers of individuals riding the space shuttle multiple times and the 14 deaths of astronauts during the Columbia and Challenger accidents.
• 789 – This is the total number of cosmonauts and astronauts who have returned to the Earth riding on NASA’s space shuttles.
• 355 – This is the total number of individual cosmonauts and astronauts who have flown with the space shuttles. This breaks down to 49 women and 396 men from 16 different countries.
• 135 – This is the total number of NASA’s space shuttle missions during its 30 years legacy. With 135 flights, 133 have been successful, but two other flights have ended into a disaster. The Columbia and Challenger missions have led to the death of 14 astronauts combined.
• 52 – This is the total number of space station components, satellites, and payloads that have retired by NASA’s space shuttle missions from the orbit.
• 14 – This the number of astronauts who have been killed during the Challenger accident in 1986 and Columbia accident in 2003.
• 9 – NASA’s space shuttles have docked at Russia’s space station 9 times. This was between 1994 and 1998.
• 8 – This represents the largest number of astronauts who have flown on NASA’s space shuttle at the same time. This happened twice – in 1985 STS-61A shuttle mission and in 1995 STS-71 flight’s return.
The legacy of NASA’s space shuttles has ended to make a way for a new exploration program. NASA has retired its space shuttle fleet to focus on a program aimed to send astronauts into deep space missions such as to asteroid and eventually, Mars. The program has been shut down, and all of the three NASA space shuttles and the prototype, Enterprise, are all displayed in public museums across the United States.