The Space Shuttle Was a Mistake
As N.A.S.A.'s space shuttle program prepares for its last launch ever, some say the political compromise that initiated the shuttle program also compromised decades of research.
What's the Latest Development?
N.A.S.A. is preparing Space Shuttle Atlantis for its final journey into space on a mission to resupply the International Space Station (I.S.S.). Once the space station is restocked, the space shuttle program will have outlived its usefulness. For those who remember the political compromises that made the shuttle program the centerpiece of American space flight, few tears will likely be shed over the program's termination. For decades, the program consumed N.A.S.A.'s budget at the expense of smaller, less risky and less expensive missions.
What's the Big Idea?
Between those who wanted a vastly more ambitious space program in the 1970s and those who thought N.A.S.A. was a waste of money, there was Richard Nixon. It was his compromise that would eventually leave both sides dissatisfied. The shuttle program has run a decade over schedule and tens of billions over budget while being limited to low Earth orbit. Still, its achievements are noteworthy. Repairing the Hubble Space Telescope, for example, would have been impossible without the shuttle. The shuttle program's reputation may rest on what gains are ultimately made by the I.S.S.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The closer together we get, the argument goes, the healthier we'll be.
- The more exposed we are to each other, the less surprising a pathogen will be to our bodies.
- Terrorism, high blood pressure, and staffing issues threaten to derail progress.
- Pursuing global health has to be an active choice.
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