July 14th, 2011


Space Shuttle Musings

I could do a whole post about what the Space Shuttle meant to me since I have vivid memories of the entire program from the Enterprise flying off from the back of a 747, to watching the 1st takeoff, to taking off early from high school to watch the 1st landing, to watching the Challenger explode minutes after the event actually happened, and on and on and on. I thought I would just make a brief comment on how NASA illustrates huge wastes in government. How much use did we get out of that west coast shuttle launch facility that was built at the cost of billions at Vandenburg Air Force Base? ZERO! Heck, I remember asking a NASA scientist back in the late 80's when they were ever going to use the thing. He laughed cynically and responded, "Never."

I don't mind spending big bucks on space exploration, but I really think NASA needs to stop with all of the pork and meaningless pet projects supported by Congress who only care about bringing home the bacon to their districts. Let's develop a long-term strategy and stick with it. Make deadlines and budgets actually mean something. Right now I'll pin my hopes on really cool projects like the next generation of Mars rovers. Maybe one day they will be piloted by actual astronauts.