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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