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Yes, Money WAS Wasted July 19, 2009

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

ABC News just had an article on their website: “Apollo: One Giant Leap, or a Waste of Money?”

Well, heresy, I say; and so would Walter Cronkite, who lived almost twice as many years in style as M. Jackson, who lived in no style.

No, what the headline inspired in me is a wry observation: NASA (Not Actually Smart Anymore) wasted money by following Apollo with the useless space shuttle. It just supported the International Space Station (ISS), which so far is merely a place to send billions of mostly U.S. dollars.

What they should have designed was a space shuttle which could also go to the Moon. With a reusable lunar lander, 100 times simpler and more reliable than the ugly one Apollo had to use to afford the big rocket. Build a permanent landing pad on the moon big enough for four moon shuttles, so a simple mini shuttle could land and takeoff without that bulky, disposable, expensive bottom half of the lander.

Mini shuttle
(Wings would not be required for a Lunar shuttle.)

We could have left the mini shuttle in orbit around the moon, refueling it before we used it on subsequent flights.

Then we could have established labs on the moon, as we established in Antarctica. Then we could have really done science.

Oh, and in its spare time, the redesigned shuttle could have also dropped off supplies from Home Depot and workers from Complete Makeover to work on the ISS, too.

The space shuttle as designed was the real waste of money. Not Apollo.




1. gregquill - July 19, 2009

This from CBS News, 7/19/09:

(CBS) The new toilet in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module aboard the International Space Station, currently hosting a combined crew of 13, malfunctioned today.

Flight controllers told the astronauts to use toilets in the Russian part of the station and aboard the shuttle Endeavour until the problem is resolved, reports CBS News space analyst Bill Harwood.

“When you get a second, if you could put an out-of-service note on the WHC (waste and hygiene compartment) and advise the crew members that station crew members will have to use the (Russian toilet) and shuttle crew members on the shuttle until further notice,” Hal Getzelman radioed from Mission Control.

European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne acknowledged the instructions, and asked if engineers had an estimate on how long it might take to get the toilet back in operation.

“No, we don’t have a good estimate,” Getzelman said. “What happened, the pre-treat (chemical), we think, flooded the pump separator and we may have got some fluid where we didn’t want it and it’ll take us a while to work through a procedure to recover.”

“OK, Hal,” De Winne replied. “I have some (time) available the entire day, I’m available to work the procedure.”


At least the 13 people have something to work on. I hope someone put a fresh Sears catalogue in the Russian head.

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