Friday, May 6, 2011

Space Shuttle Delay Shows We Need A Newer Robust Launch System

As nostalgic as it is to see the 2nd to the last shuttle launch is, I'm not sure I'm going to miss it.  Another delay.  I look forward to the day when we can launch something into space without much consideration for weather and that the equipment and the launch vehicles are robust enough so that we won't have to have thousands of people working on one launch.

In fact, I want those same thousands of NASA scientists and technicians to be launching multiple vehicles in different parts of the country on a more regular basis.  Or, these same workers could be working in the private space sector doing the same thing.  I don't know when that day will come but I certainly hope it'll be sooner rather than later.  

Yes, the space shuttles are a reminder to the enthusiasm for space exploration.  That was then.  What does the future hold?  It's hard to say.  I'm beginning to think the public is confusing exploration with launch telescopes, robots to Mars, and make sure we have a web of satellites for our TV and Internet.

I loved it when President Bush announced that we would go back to the "moon and beyond".  Of course, it was more about sound bites.  I knew that.  But it was still nice to dream.  

With the Chinese working hard to catch up to the US and Russia, I think America always needed a challenge, staying ahead of everyone else, I don't know what is.  

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