The Price of the Eagle
The Space Shuttle is often mocked, but let’s be clear about one thing: that it is a great engineering accomplishment, and one that the US are justifiably proud of.
So why is it being mocked? In a nuttshell: the Space Shuttle was originally built as a military vehicle. Then the military figured out they did not need such a vehicle, and ever since NASA has been doing its darndest to find new purposes for the Shuttle, and failed. There is almost no need in modern space faring that cannot be fulfilled with cheaper and safer solutions.
More interesting is the question: how is it being mocked? Idle Words has a demonstration.
The one thing missing from his complete and utterly scathing overview of Why The Space Shuttle Is Redundant is a cost perspective: for the price of the launch of a single Space Shuttle you can design, test and run several launches of a really reusable space craft. (Which might be, but of course is not limited to the Kliper.)