Friday, March 12, 2010

Shuttle: Time to Move On

The excellent Space Politics web site posted an article yesterday explaining why extending the Space Shuttle program is neither practical nor wise.

The article quotes David Radzanowski, deputy associate administrator for program intergration in the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD):

"If we’re directed to do so, and if the money actually shows up, and if we bring the workforce and the suppliers onboard that we need to move forward, there would still be a two- to three-year gap between the last flight and the new additional flights," he concluded. "That’s just the way it is, folks, that’s the way it is because it takes us that long to build an external tank."

He's quoted as saying it would cost "well over $2.5 billion a year" to keep the Shuttle program, so that's at least $5 billion over the first two years paying people to sit around while we wait for a new external tank.

Our local politicians, meanwhile, continue to ignore the experts and pander to voters with false hopes that Shuttle will be extended to save jobs.

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