Nicholas de Monchaux is a writer and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His work explores the roles of architecture, design and nature within the city. Modern Urbanist.
"First, despite all indications to the contrary, the shuttle's launches and reentries would never in any sense be "everyday." And second, the loss of the white latex coating was really a symptom of something much deeper -- a concerted and ultimately futile attempt to bring the massive craft's operations within the cost and performance parameters originally promised. Like a modern bridal gown, the brilliance of the shuttle on her maiden voyage shrouds the complex realities of a human story -- full of compromise and, yes, moral failings -- with a dazzling veil."