It's Time to Retire the Shuttle
Among the many tough decisions facing the next president is the future of our civilian space program. There are conflicts over how long to fly the space shuttle, which are linked to questions about continued American access to the international space station -- built at the cost of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars -- and whether U.S. astronauts will return to the moon before 2020.
The premiere this week of the PBS "Nova" documentary "Space Shuttle Disaster" brings many of these questions to the fore. The 2003 Columbia Accident Investigation Board, of which I was a member, concluded that the United States should "replace the shuttle as soon as possible as the primary means for transporting humans to and from Earth orbit."… Seguir leyendo »