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Seven Apollos

Alan Boyle has come up with a new set of science-project-based monetary units to get our heads around the costs of the bailout.

This sort of thing provides support for the politically naive argument for more money for one's pet project, e.g., "we could do seven Apollos for the cost of one Iraq war--surely we can afford at least one." But federal budget dollars aren't fungible, and the political importance of various choices isn't necessarily consistent, either, due to the vagaries of how these decisions are made. Note also that, at the time, getting to the moon in a hurry was important for reasons having little or nothing do to with space. It's unreasonable to expect those particular political stars to align again.

Not to mention the fact that because we were in a hurry, we chose an architecture and path that was economically and politically unsustainable. Just as NASA's current path is, which is no surprise, considering that they chose to recapitulate Apollo, rather than building an incremental affordable infrastructure that would provide the basis for true spacefaring.


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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 6, 2008 6:28 AM.

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