NASA Chief Admits Shuttle, Space Station Were Big Mistakes

from the never-should-have-done-them dept

The space shuttle, despite its problems, has been the core of NASA’s efforts for the past two decades. However, the current NASA head is now admitting that the space shuttle was a mistake and took NASA off its real mission. He claims he’s trying to bring NASA back, which will involve going back to the moon again. Of course, what he doesn’t explain is why going to the moon is any more a part of NASA’s reason for being than a reusable space plane.

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Comments on “NASA Chief Admits Shuttle, Space Station Were Big Mistakes”

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Mousky (user link) says:

Not a fair assessment

Griffin does not offer a fair assessment of the shuttle program. The shuttle program that exists today is not what was envisioned 30 or so years ago. The vehicle was to be smaller, but the military wanted a larger vehicle that could carry large military satellites. The biggest problem happened when the program was hijacked by politicians. They wanted a piece of the action (aka money). There was no attempt to efficient manufacture the shuttle; rather, the attempt was to spread out the money across key states.

John Nemaric (PhD) (user link) says:

Re: Still one more comment in the history of NASA

As a former employee of Lockheed which was/is the main contractor for NASA’s Shuttle and considering my relationship with NASA (Goddard Space Flight Center) prior to the Shuttle’s 1st. launch. And, when employed as a Systems Engineer both at Goddard and then Kennedy Space Center. Furthermore, after having worked at a very high level on STS-9 which consisted of the “highly successful” Spacelab payload, and other missions, I feel compelled, to state that NASA’s mission is “everything” that has to do with outer space. That includes many things: (i.e.:) development of new technologies without regards as to it’s ultimate purpose, and more often than not, their application to everyday’s life here on Earth. Indeed, we can not allow ourselves nor anybody, specially politicians, to hijack that which belongs to science and specially to our Austronauts, and all those who are “fortunate” to pay taxes…the real owners of NASA, the People ! Quite a few Astronauts have given their lifes on the quest. Lets not cheapen their sacrifice with senseless words given with the usual abandon as politicians are adept to utter on the spur of the moment. Well, I said my piece ! And my message to all involved in the space program is ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM.

sam says:

Re: Re: Re: Still one more comment in the history of NASA

no the shuttle failed because it commoditized space. we had a price for access to space. n- million gets you this size satellite in space, etc. space has never been about a price tag (within reason), it is about expanding humanity’s horizons beyond our little earth. Exploring space and not taking it for granted should have been the order of the day. We went to the moon in the 70s and yet if we had to today we couldn’t. it was a mistake to let such infrastructure go to waste.

Using the 70’s as a timeline, we should have at lease one permanent self-sustaining colony on the moon and solid plans, if not preliminary manned missions to mars already. We are so profit driven that we can no longer see the romanticism of spaceflight. The astronauts are faceless national tools. the shuttle should have been privatized and nasa moved on to what it does best, blazing the trail.

If Russia can still send people and supplies to the ISS with their economy in its condition this doesn’t speak well for us. Once international support fell thru for the ISS, we should have canned the project. How much “scientific research” is being conducted up there? Whats the $ per discovery. So much for pushing back the frontier. With this mentality our ancesters would never had crossed the mississippi river and would have wallowed on the east coast forever, sending “probes” and “rovers” across the river but never going there themselves. anyway i digress

Jarin says:

Re: Re: Re: Still one more comment in the history of N

Correction: typing skills of a third grader. If he really did work on STS-9, that puts him firmly into an age group populated primarily by computer-illiterates. His claim might be true, it might not, but I’ve seen PhDs whose typing skills were far worse.

>Boy, for someone who claims to have a PhD and worked in
>these high-profile jobs, you sure have the writing skills of a
>third grader. Maybe people like you are the reason the shuttle

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Still one more comment in the history of N

No, if they were a typing or computer problem, we would expect to just see typos. However, there are much deeper problems with his grammar and reasoning. I find it hard to believe that this person got a PhD, but then does anything surprise us about NASA? A culture where incompetent people get promoted to the top.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Still one more comment in the history of N

Dorpus, you’re just jealous that you don’t have a PHD. While I agree that Mr. PHD is an arrogant person who thinks he knows everything, so are you Dorpus.
Can you explain to me:
1. How grammatical errors and typos have ANYTHING to do with the current topic?
2. How small WRITING errors have anything at all to do with the type of work this guy has done?
3. Why he should care about his grammar when posting in a random website where jackasses criticize something as irrelevant as grammar errors and spelling?

Using perfect grammar and spelling does nothing to prove overall intelligence levels. I know plenty of borderline retards that never misspell a word and write everything perfectly. But they also voted for Bush and are against stem cell research.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Still one more comment in the history of N

Are you sure I’m not going to get a PhD soon myself? Anyone who writes a dissertation knows the importance of commmunication skills — they are distinguishing themselves from the rabble who are merely good technicians. Those who are able to state their ideas coherently are a cut above the hordes of techies who merely spout jargon.

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