NASA's mea culpa
September 30, 2005
Since everyone else is compulsively blogging mean things about the Hammer and other assorted hardware, I decided to stick it to NASA instead:
The space shuttle and International Space Station -- nearly the whole of the U.S. manned space program for the past three decades -- were mistakes, NASA chief Michael Griffin said Tuesday.
In a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board, Griffin said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo moon missions in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth.
"It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path," Griffin said. "We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can."
The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it's finished Ã¢â‚¬â€ in 2010 or later Ã¢â‚¬â€ may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that. [LINK]What is bureaucratese for "oops"? I sometimes think that the only reason that NASA exists is to make conservative arguments about government for them.