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Great quote from NASA

The space shuttle has problems, everybody on the planet knows this. So NASA is going back to a more traditional rocket with the payload on top design for future manned missions.

The New York Times has an article on the new design. The best quote from the article is from the new administrator of NASA, Michael D. Griffin;

“As long as we put the crew and the valuable cargo up above wherever the tanks are, we don’t care what they shed,” he said. “They can have dandruff all day long.”

But funny quotes aside let’s hope this new plan gets the U.S. back into the space exploration business.

4 replies on “Great quote from NASA”

Really, they just need heads. Or the grey stuff that fills them up. It took them years of talking about doing something so they could do nothing and not solve an obvious problem. I hope that approach works for graduate school.

While the new design makes sense for the administration’s plans on further human exploration of the Moon and perhaps beyond, I think the current shuttle design is perhaps humanity’s most beautiful human transport device. Graceful in shape unlike its sharp and somewhat angular and awkward forebearers, it represented the civilizing of space travel. Humans could not only shoot up into the sky, they could float in it, build in it, and then decend back to earth, landing neatly and properly, as if jumping off the planet were something routine.

This illusion of a routine is of course what got the mission in trouble, as presidents and congresses again and again decided to cut funding, replacing scientists with business managers and bean counters. The new design, in my opinion, is almost to admit failure, to choose the cheap way, and perhaps not the best. It will be a sad day if the shuttle program ever really retires, but there’s no telling what might happen. The final dates on shuttle retirement are so far in the future that the next administration might well reverse the decision.

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