Think Tank Assails Space Shuttle, Space Station As Wasteful
NASA should abandon the space shuttles and International Space Station (ISS) programs, and put the money instead into developing manned missions to the moon, Mars and beyond, according to The Cato Institute, a libertarian Washington think tank.
The ISS ultimately may cost $100 billion to construct while yielding little good science, according to Edward Hudgins, Cato Institute adjunct scholar and editor of the book Space: The Free-Market Frontier.
Funds instead should be directed toward voyages away from Earth, he asserted. Spending on the shuttles and ISS “delays rather than helps Americans return to the Moon or land humans on Mars. It’s time for NASA to stop wasting tax dollars and scuttle the shuttle and station or privatize them and get out of low Earth orbit activities,” he asserted.
He also praised private space-travel firms, as well as lauding Russia for establishing a program where tourists can visit space, and the ISS, for a few days at a price of about $20 million per trip.
One of the U.S. spaceships, Space Shuttle Atlantis, just returned from the ISS. (Please see full story on page 1.)