[FPSPACE] NYT: Is the Space Station Necessary?
thomsona at flash.net
Sun Aug 14 14:17:22 EDT 2005
>>I think, in particular, that it would be a good idea for the US to ask
>>the other ISS participants just how offended they'd be if their modules
>>didn't get launched and serviced.
> And the answer is that they would be truly deeply severely insulted.
Quite possibly. But it would be useful to hear them say that directly.
There is the question, after all, whether they are more concerned about sunk
costs or likely future benefits.
> The editorial did make a good point in noting that there is a difference
> between these countries' space agencies and their actual governments. The
> governments may be looking for ways of cutting their space budgets and it
> would be somewhat useful to be able to blame that on the Americans (as it
> is often useful to blame internal problems on somebody else).
> But if this happens, it could have some negative effects. It could result
> in budgetary instability as European nations start chopping their space
> budgets because the ISS has given them that opportunity. Whether this is
> good or bad depends upon your priorities--I merely note that it could
> create as many (or more) problems for the European space agencies as it
> supposedly solves.
Yep. My impression, for the nothing it's worth, is that ESA and Japan at
least are going to continue to do unmanned science missions, whatever
happens to manned space.
>>There seems little doubt that the station has been a disastrous
>>misallocation of resources. It has already cost $75 billion to $80 billion
>>by some counts,
> Okay, what "counts" is the writer referring to? Are these counts perhaps
> produced by such eminent experts as Alex Roland?
> Less than a month ago I posted this:
We teeter on the edge of the Arthur Anderson Abyss here, but what I'd like
to see is an attempt at the (admittedly mythical) "full cost accounting" for
Fred/ISS in 2005 inflation-adjusted dollars from 1984 up to mid-2005.
Including prorated Shuttle program (not just marginal flight) costs, other
infrastructure that wouldn't have been maintained if not in direct or
indirect support of ISS, etc.
Just for US costs, what's come out of my US Taxpayer's Pocket. Other
participants' costs are a separate question, though they'd be interesting to
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