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Old 06-16-2010, 12:19 PM
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NCC-73515 NCC-73515 is offline
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Location: Heidelberg, Germany
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Originally Posted by Saquist View Post
The American Shuttles have always had auto pilot.
As Buran was designed to be capable of both manned and robotic flight, it had automated landing capability; the manned version was never operational. The Space Shuttle was later retrofitted with an automated landing capability; the equipment to make this possible was first flown on STS-121, but is intended only as a contingency, and has never been used on any flight.

And the boosters could be turned off and didn't have the ring problems that destroyed the Challenger.

I've been told that the design was not stolen and that this is always the result of calculations when someone wants to find the optimal shape for a reusable spacecraft.

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