Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is NASA Still Relevant?

Well, that's that. The shuttle program is no more. More importantly, NASA is now without any functional launch vehicle capable of achieving orbit. NASA will rely on the Russians to get U.S. astronauts to the ISS. There is a certain irony in this. NASA will also use the capabilities of private companies once these system are mature enough. NASA's own launch system is still being studied. I have doubts that even this scaled back system will never be built, given how easily the U.S. government cuts NASA's budget. The U.S. seems determined to make itself irrelevant in future space exploration.

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