The Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) element integrates all the subsystems needed for ascent flight, entry, and recovery of the combined Booster and Motor system. These include the structures, avionics, thrust vector control, pyrotechnic, range safety, deceleration, thermal protection, and retrieval systems. This represents the only human-rated, recoverable and refurbishable solid rocket ever developed and flown. Challenges included subsystem integration, thermal environments and severe loads (including water impact), sometimes resulting in hardware attrition. Several of the subsystems evolved during the program through design changes. These included the thermal protection system, range safety system, parachute/recovery system, and others. Obsolescence issues occasionally required component recertification. Because the system was recovered, the SRB was ideal for data and imagery acquisition, which proved essential for understanding loads and system response. The three main parachutes that lower the SRBs to the ocean are the largest parachutes ever designed, and the SRBs are the largest structures ever to be lowered by parachutes. SRB recovery from the ocean was a unique process and represented a significant operational challenge; requiring personnel, facilities, transportation, and ground support equipment. The SRB element achieved reliability via extensive system testing and checkout, redundancy management, and a thorough postflight assessment process. Assembly and integration of the booster subsystems was a unique process and acceptance testing of reused hardware components was required for each build. Extensive testing was done to assure hardware functionality at each level of stage integration. Because the booster element is recoverable, subsystems were available for inspection and testing postflight, unique to the Shuttle launch vehicle. Problems were noted and corrective actions were implemented as needed. The postflight assessment process was quite detailed and a significant portion of flight operations. The SRBs provided fully redundant critical systems including thrust vector control, mission critical pyrotechnics, avionics, and parachute recovery system. The design intent was to lift off with full redundancy. On occasion, the redundancy management scheme was needed during flight operations. This paper describes some of the design challenges, how the design evolved with time, and key areas where hardware reusability contributed to improved system level understanding.