The Shuttle is fundamentally flawed." - NASA... Jul 29, 2005 3:00:58 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 29, 2005 3:00:58 GMT -6
Scuttle the Shuttle Now
Honolulu HI (SPX) Jul 29, 2005
The dismal failure of the Shuttle RTF effort should signal the end of NASA's suicidal love affair with this fundamentally unworkable spacecraft.
"By any measure of 'safe,' this [program] is not safe... It remains dangerous. We have got to replace this vehicle as soon as possible." -- CAIB Chairman Harold Gehman
"The Shuttle is fundamentally flawed." - NASA Administrator Mike Griffin
NASA has spent 2.5 years and an estimated $14B maintaining the overall Shuttle program while trying to 'fix' a backlog of faults.
And now despite spending billions in federal space funding we are right back where we started, with another Shuttle crew having narrowly escaped another shower of foam fragments. Several of these fragments even came off in almost exactly the same place as that which doomed Columbia.
And why bother? The only thing we can get in return for the $25-30B now budgeted for Shuttle operations between now and 2010 is more heartache and more delays in the new space initiative. Every day that Shuttle cancellation is put off, another $15,000,000 is wasted and the return of humans to the moon is delayed by another day.
The only reason left to fly the Shuttle is to finish the International Space Station. But simple arithmetic tells you that it is not capable of doing this task. The original ISS assembly plans call for 28 more Shuttle missions before compulsory retirement on 30 September 2010. Even before the fiasco of RTF-2, Mike Griffin had stated that there will be only 16 to 20 more Shuttle missions. With the rumored 1-year delay imposed by making even more safety improvements, this number shrinks to 12-16.
A lot more here: www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-05zq.html
I hate to agree, but it's time to put the Shuttles in Museums and proceed to the generation of Spacecraft.