NASA chief Michael Griffin recently admitted that the change of direction from lunar missions to international space stations was a bad idea.
So what’s the cost of this mistake? Well, from the article.
“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 — in 2010 or later — may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that.
To be fair, the results aren’t all bad. Sure, 150 billion is a big kick in the pants, but at least we got some cool technologies out of it. My favorite, is my tempur-pedic pillow. Shit, this thing has cured all my neck problems. So I guess all was not lost.
And why is the next moon mission being planned for 2018? Considering how much farther we are technologically, why the hell is it going to take 13 years to plan how to get back there? Shit, we seemed to get their quite quickly in the 60’s.