Tuesday, June 12, 2007

End the Space Shuttle Program

We must end the space shuttle program and I believe that we should obviously still invest in satellite technology but I believe that now is the time to end the program that has been languishing for years. Every launch now seems to find damage to the shuttle that increases the chance of disaster during re-entry.

The cost of maintaining the space-shuttle program is beyond expensive (around $500 million each launch!!)--sucking up funds that could be better used to fund programs that are more critical to the 21st century namely fighting global climate change. It is money that could also be better spent in beefing up our social security program or funding a universal health care system.

The other program that needs to be abandoned is the International Space Station. Nothing much has been accomplished there and it basically only serves as a destination for the space shuttle to keep the bloated program going.

Now I'm all for private corporations taking over space programs with some government regulation but a government program just costs too much. The bottled water alone for these space flights costs tax payers almost half a million dollars a day!! Then there is the hauling of cargo that costs approximately $20,000 a pound.

The future beyond the shuttle program doesn't look to improve. The purported shuttle replacement (the X-33) has turned out to be a boondoggle. It was finally scrapped but only after it sucked $1.3 BILLION dollars (said in my best Dr. Evil voice) out of our pockets and away from other more important programs. Not even the Air Force will sponsor it.

No, it's time to end the program. It was important during a time when satellite technology was developing and critical during the cold war but now we have cheaper ways of delivering satellites into orbit with no risk to human life.

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8 comments:

Lynne said...

I agree we should end it but for a completely different reason.

We have no business in space/expanding to other worlds until we learn compassion and empathy for others. I don't want any escape for rich folks if we totally kill this planet.

James said...

Lynne:

That's another great reason.

fashiongirl said...

I agree it's becoming just a joy ride for the rich and famous, but you know if we turn it over to corporations Richard Branson is going to morph into Ernst Stavro Blofeld faster than you can say, "Shaken, not stirred".

James said...

Fashion Girl:

Ha!!! You're probably right. Nice James Bond reference. I'm a major Bond fan.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately for everyone one you're not in a decision making position.

The Shuttle should not be retired, it should be funded and built to it's original specification and fleet size.
If you want to stop at your city level existence fine, but the world has need and places to go, It's pretty darned obvious that if we stay here, we are simply going to murder ourselves.

If we get some folks away from this pisshole then maybe they can do out there, what our history here keeps us from doing.

Yep, have one of your cheap satellites repair or retrieve another satellite - I'll be waiting, but I won't hold my breath. There's a word for people who think like you - theyre called luddites and would never have crossed the Atlantic or climbed a mountain.

Anonymous said...

Oh you're psychotic, that explains the grandiose myopic viewpoint.

Examine history my friend, when America reached the Pacific coast and stopped expanding, it started to turn on itself.

James said...

You are more then entitled to your opinion "Anon" but making fun of my disability is just plain cruel.

James said...

By the way, I believe that we should focus on fixing the problems that we face HERE--on Earth.

What makes you think that the problems we have here on Earth wouldn't just follow us wherever you want us to go?? You say, *maybe* and that's a BIG, EXPENSIVE maybe.

We can't run from our problems here on Earth.

I prefer to stand and fight for this planet. How about we fund programs like renewable energy to help save this wonderful planet that we live on.

I'm not ready to write it off. I'm not as pessimistic as you are.