End of Shuttle is the Beginning of NewSpace Age

by Space Frontier Press on July 18, 2011

Do you agree? Visit <survey period has ended> and tell us!

 

The final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis does not mean the end of manned spaceflight for America. It heralds the beginning of the NewSpace Age, an era of more access to space for many more people at much lower cost.

“The space shuttle was a grand experiment, flown by brave people and supported by a dedicated army of highly skilled professionals,” said the Foundation’s Rick Tumlinson. “It was also a failure created and kept alive by politicians more interested in pumping money into their states and districts than in opening space to the people who paid for it.”

 

Some people think that when Atlantis rolls to its final stop, American leadership in space will end with it. But the Foundation points out that the space shuttle program failed to achieve its original goals. For example, the shuttles were supposed to fly 50 or more times a year, and were to bring the cost per flight down below $15 million dollars. Instead, it never flew more than 9 times a year at an average cost of about $1.5 billion per flight in current dollars.

“The Shuttle was an overly complex political compromise that cost 200 billion dollars, 40 years and, of course, 14 astronauts’ lives,” said Bob Werb, the Foundation’s Chairman. “A spaceship that was supposed to fly every week actually averaged fewer than five flights per year. Rather than unlocking the solar system, it has kept humanity stuck in Low Earth Orbit for three decades.”

The Space Frontier Foundation has had enough of pouring billions of tax dollars into government-owned and -controlled systems. They contend that NASA has better things to do than drive trucks and build buildings, activities better left to the private sector. NASA should explore and help develop new technologies to open the frontier. And, the Foundation thinks that the people agree.

To find out, we’re conducting a survey at <survey period has ended> which we will publish when the shuttle lands later this week.

“Whether or not you believe the Shuttle’s last mission is an end or a beginning, we want to hear from you,” said Foundation Executive Director Will Watson.

Visit <survey period has ended> and let your voice be heard!

Widmer September 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I think somebody should clean up the guestbook!

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