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The Space Shuttle is the greatest example. The goal was a lowcost reusable spacecraft. But the precision cost of it's upkeep and maintenance and logistics made it notoriously expensive and limited launches to 3-4 a year. It took 20 years for NASA to finally get the Shuttle to do it's intended mission, build/service a space station. But rockets are cheaper ...


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Given that the quote is coming from Jim Bridenstine just before the 2020 election, note that he, his agency, and the Artemis program is facing potentially very different leadership with very different priorities. I think that this puts the focus on the "cast out later" due to the political risk of cancelation when new leadership arrives after an ...


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The Constellation program is the first that comes to my mind. It was started in 2005 with the ambition of crewed missions to the Moon and Mars. A crewed mission to a near-Earth asteroid was also planned at some point. It was cancelled in 2010, with budget overrun and schedule slip given as primary motivations. Some parts of the program live on in e.g. the ...


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Consider the XS-1 An experimental reusable flyback first stage. Boeing collected several grants to build this vehicle from DARPA. However, in 2020 Boeing announced it was ceasing its role in the program. There were no test flights, and presumably, very little hardware. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XS-1_(spacecraft)


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The VentureStar SSTO qualifies. It was intentionally set up to develop risky new technologies such as composite liquid hydrogen propellant tanks and aerospike engines, and get them flying in an operational vehicle. The composite tanks of the 1/3-scale suborbital X-33 technology demonstrator failed in testing, and ended up heavier than an aluminum equivalent ...


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