I’ve always wondered somewhat, just how much consideration was really put into using one orbiter to rescue another. Because, it’d probably be nice not to be blind sided when the problem is closer to needing a flying tow truck than a memorial service.
In history though, I reckon the latter is how things turned out for NASA. Over the course of a hundred and thirty five launches: only two shuttles and their crews were lost. Catastrophic failures were the only true failures is probably a fair statement.
Actually, that’s a pretty good success rate if you ask me.