With the cancellation of the NASA space shuttle program, China takes advantage of old US lifting body technology to build and launch their own independent low orbit delivery system in 2022.
Deployment of satelite:
Safely back on solid ground:
I did want to keep it minifig scale; which would make it quite a tight fit for the crew, perhaps it could be likened to a 'Gemini'-sized vehicle with a payload at the back. In the end I went with a smaller scale, although it raises questions about the size of the booster rocket to carry it into orbit...thank goodness this is only Lego and it doesn't really matter!
This actually started off with a more traditional shuttle shape but I scrapped it, I wasn't happy with the boxiness. I was building an angular design but it looked a little TOO angular so after some hesitation I started fresh and I'm MUCH happier with the new design.
Anybody up for an impromptu "Shuttle 2.0" design challenge? How would you envision the successor to the NASA stalwart?
Indeed, the shaping on version two is much better than I could do. I like the looks of the ship. It looks to me like it would also be a servicable vehicle to shuttle people and whatnot from a starship to planetside.