Thursday, September 14, 2006

LRB | John Lanchester on NASA's new stick of dynamite

 Read the article for more -- another timely reality check

It takes Nasa 15,000 engineers to keep the shuttle running, for instance, at an annual cost of around $5 billion. That’s one reason the design for Orion is a return to the old model of a space rocket, with a capsule on the end of a giant stack of boosters. Everything about the shuttle is horribly out of fashion, so much so that it’s hard to remember that it was once seen as an engineering wonder. But then, after the crash of first Challenger and then Columbia, and the rising costs and the general sense that it wasn’t doing anything useful, and the related doubts over the International Space Station, whose own costs escalated from $8 billion to $100 billion, the shuttle became an official, all-round flop. And the main reason for that was and is the two terrible crashes.

Source: LRB | John Lanchester : Short Cuts

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