They're Clunkers, don't you know?
Judging by the host's attitude toward Shuttles in the last episode (929), this thread may not get much traction here. While I do agree the shuttles are old and in desperate need of replacement, they far exceed the capability of any other reusable spacecraft in service right now.
The youngest shuttle, Endeavour, made it's first flight on 5/7/1992, and was launched into space for the first time on 9/12/1992. Endeavour has been on 22 missions into space and is scheduled for at least one more. During that time, Endeavor has traveled over 103 million miles at speeds around Mach 40. Not too bad for a clunker.
The dates make Endeavor almost 17 years old, not 30 Tom/Natali. While most of use do not have cars as old as Endeavor, the average car does not cost as much to acquire and operate as a post-modern spacecraft. The oldest shuttle in service, Discovery, first went up into space on 8/30/1983, making it just over 26 years old. 26 ≠ 30
I am not a space fan, per se, I do appreciate it's technological benefit. The space shuttles are marvels of aeronautical, chemical, computer, and structural ingenuity. The hosts might want to cut it some slack...
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