Yes, there's some hindsight in my statement.Try explaining that in 1969 or 1972 though. Let alone in the timeline where SIVB malfunctions just caused all the issues, including two dead astronauts, we saw at the end of season 1.
But...fact is, the Shuttle we got was the result of a highly contingent set of compromises. The context needed for those compromises is just about impossible in the world of For All Mankind in the early 70's.
It's not that a shuttle of some kind is impossible here. It just wouldn't be the shuttle we *got*.