[FPSPACE] Re: Careful what you ask for!
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 8 17:26:39 EDT 2005
From: "CHARLES, JOHN B. (JSC-SL) (NASA)" <john.b.charles at nasa.gov>
Sent: Aug 8, 2005 1:23 PM
>Every time someone says "mothball the Shuttle" and "abandon the station" so
we can "get on with exploration," I remember that about 35 years ago, when
we were exploring the Moon, popular sentiment drove us in the opposite
direction. It was "why are we exploring the Moon when there is so much to
learn about Earth?" and NASA's mission shifted to Earth-centric missions.
A few weeks ago there was an intriguing quote in some publication that dealt with the calls for retiring shuttle and ISS now. It was anonymous, but the person essentially noted that if you shut down ISS and shuttle now, it essentially undercuts _any_ justification for a human spaceflight program. This person said that it is naive to think that you could stop flying humans for ten years and then just pick up the effort again in 2015. By that time you've wiped out your political support.
What happens in, say, 2009 when we haven't been flying for several years, and the program is running over budget and the deficit is still howling in the background? The money gets taken away because it is easier to shut off a "human" spaceflight program that is not flying humans than it is to shut off a program that _is_ flying people.
More information about the FPSPACE