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REUTERS - Space shuttles have played a pivotal role in the U.S. space program. They made their debut in 1981 and enabled NASA to learn how to live and work in orbit. But the workhorse spacecraft proved more expensive and risky to fly than originally hoped.
MIAMI (Reuters) - When the United States embarked on its shuttle program decades ago, it set out to build a workhorse vehicle that would make space travel routine and beat the Soviets during the Cold War struggle for dominance in space.