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« The Economics Of The Space Program | Main | More Cold-War Thinking From Easterbrook »

"A Monumentally Stupid Waste Of Money"

Futurepundit Randall Parker has a good post on inherent Shuttle reliability vis a vis airline reliability, and why we need to abandon Shuttle (and ISS) as quickly as possible.

Posted by Rand Simberg at February 07, 2003 07:59 AM
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The space program is in a pickle again because every president since Kennedy has failed to provide the leadership necessary to move the nation in the right direction.

Kennedy gave us a destination. His successors have given us, quite literally, aimless space policy: We aren't aiming at anything, so it's no wonder we've saddled ourselves with an expensive launch infrastructure who's primary objective seems to be finding something to do.

I favor returning to the Moon and establishing a permanent presence, but other destinations are obvious. Let's set a goal, and build the tools and infrastructure to get there.

We should admit the shuttle was a flawed, politically compromised idea and move on. Relegate the Orbiter to the Smithsonian, next to the DC-3. Use the Orbiter-less shuttle configuration as the basis of a series of heavy lift vehicles. Give up the fixation on space craft with wings; maybe there's a safer, cheaper way to get people into orbit and back. Reduce the risks of re-entry by keeping people in space longer. Build a space station whose primary purpose is to assemble and launch manned space craft; the science will follow.

Posted by at February 7, 2003 09:26 AM

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