posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:09 AM
The Shuttle had to be retired. They've been lucky with the launches of the last few years that they didn't lose another one. I'm sure the
astronauts counted their lucky stars that they made it home.
Q. How much does it cost to launch a Space Shuttle?
A. The average cost to launch a Space Shuttle is about $450 million per mission.
So NASA is spending $1.5-2 Billion a year just on Shuttle Missions(3-4 missions/year)
That eats up a lot of their budget every year and the cost versus return isn't worth it if they can find a cheaper per mission alternative.
If the Shuttle eats up that much of the budget it doesn't leave much room for other stuff once you factor in joint mission costs with other nations
and such. How are you going to invest in future technologies when your space mission costs eat up 30-40% of your budget.
To have a long term space presence they need to find a vehicle that has considerably smaller mission costs so that they can have more missions.
The Shuttle was an amazing engineering feat and I honour all the brave men and women who have flown in them and to those who were lost in advancing
mankind's knowledge of space and technology.
But as any good ship, the Shuttles need to be put to rest and should go out on a positive note. Successful missions and the return to Earth of their
passengers should be the final send off for these great ships.
I have a feeling if their mission is prolonged another deadly tragedy will occur and the beautiful legacy of the Shuttles will be mired in tragedy.
Just my thoughts and 0.03c(the Loonie is doing well lately)