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Should Europe un-man its space program?

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posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 04:54 AM
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I just found this article on BBC news regarding the future of European space exploration. According to the UK astronomer Lord Rees, Europe should forget about sending people into space and rather focus on unmanned missions.

Here's an exert from the article:

Europe should give up on sending men and women into space and concentrate on unmanned projects... Spending funds on manned space flights "was not a very good use of money"... "Manned missions are hugely more expensive and the practical case for sending people weakens with every advance in robotics and miniaturisation."


At first I was quite disappointed, but I think this actually makes sense. I'm not sure whether the benefits of sending humans into space really outweigh the vast increase in costs which it requires, costs that could rather be spent on far superior unmanned missions.

This is not to say that I am not anxious to get people into space, I think this should be one of the main goals space programs, but perhaps the task of sending people up there is something that should be left to the private sector, through space tourism.

What do you think?




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