Gee, this guy is even more brutally honest than I am:
5 Horrifying Facts You Didn’t Know About the Space Shuttle
Also, an EASA administrator was roasted for his answer that reusable spacecraft would reduce jobs, but it looks like SpaceX is doomed financially because there aren’t enough missions to make low-cost launches financially viable for its 5,000+ staff.
Which is why SpaceX is polluting the sky with microsatellites now.
Around 1998, I had a chance to talk to a de Havilland aircraft engineer. It went like this:
Me: “Since we lose money on every airplane built, why not just close the Toronto factory and do design work?”
de Havilland Engineer: “because without a jobs scheme, there won’t be any budget for design work.”
Of course, then Bombardier (a Quebec jobs scheme) gave the A220 design to Airbus in 2017/2018, so who was right? 🙂
From my studies of the X program, that was the USA’s most successful and cost-efficient aeronautics program. The research ended up in every civilian and military airplane built.
The pause in the X program in favor of the rocket program was a huge mistake that set back hypersonic flight by decades. You could make a list of 100 advancements due to the X program that essentially cost nothing.