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Juan Suros

NASA's domination of manned spaceflight has passed the point of diminishing returns and become a hindrance to human exploration of space. It wasn't intentional, but that is where we are today.

The sooner we limit NASA to designing space hardware & instrumentation and exclude them from spacelift, the sooner we'll all be vacationing on the moon.

Neil Halelamien

A good proposal, but unfortunately it's politically impossible.

Nathan Hampton

While I agree that the practicality of the Shuttle program is no longer questionable and downright deplorable, we must not forget that there are even more reasons why the shuttle flies.

1) Defense projects
It's hard to imagine how much of NASA's budget is squirreled into DoD R&D so that DoD can take a budget crunch and still manage to keep pet projects alive. Do really think it costs $14,000 for a toilet and another $7,000 for a hammer?

2) Secrecy
Although NASA was founded on an open door and freedom of information policy, it has never been followed. MOF, more than one President has stated that NASA is as much a vault for national security secrets as the CIA, FBI, etc.

3) F.U.D.
Like M$, NASA is great at being the government's FUD factor on manned space missions. Just when things are getting routine, when NASA's clean record is getting too comfortable, a crash or explosion happens to get everyone's attention. Suddenly there's more money, everyone buys NASA merchandise, and NASA's flush with cash again. The comments that keep flying with Challenger and Columbia was, "Space isn't safe. Leave it to the professionals at NASA." No! NASA isn't safe. Leave it to the professionals in the commercial space industry.

4) Politics
If there's one problem with government control it's the politics of the game. The government it quick to expand but sloew (if ever) to contract. The only known contraction is to completely scrap the entire government and start over. If we accept something in the short term, then the situation will remain for the long term. (Remember Chancellor Palpatine and the Empire?) Slick palms and nepotism isn't just the realm of the UN but also D.C., London, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, and every other self-proclaimed do-gooder government on the planet.

genf20 plus

Amazing lines, Thank You!

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