well yeah it's a wasteful design. even reusing the frame of the main craft, they burn up more fuel and resources with the shuttles than the rockets did, and it's 1970s technology. as I heard it they were afraid the Russians were making a space plane so they said 'dang we gotta have us a space plane too.' so it boils down to comparing dicks really.
anyway I'm happy they are getting a few more years out of Hubble. that telescope is one of the few things NASA has done right in the last 30 years. I'm also happy they have plans to replace it. when Bush was king they said they weren't going to do it. perhaps I should have made a new thread about the telescope.