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We Need Cheaper Access to Space: Can It Be Done?

27 Jan 2010, 21:25 UTC
We Need Cheaper Access to Space: Can It Be Done?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Obama Administration’s first budget includes a revised NASA strategy for human spaceflight that’s considered the path to devastation and ruin by some, and a cause for joy and triumph by others. You could sum up the general response to this by existing NASA funding beneficiaries as, “Change? Absolutely! But, not in my space program.”
The NASA Administrator’s view is that it costs way too much to get into space using our current infrastructure. Our ongoing need to transport humans adds increased safety costs that makes it even harder. Shuttle launches are now estimated to cost almost $1B each. Our launch rate is at an all time low and considering the expense, it should be no surprise. Limited space access is the major barrier to developing a true space economy that could bring us more down-to-Earth benefits and solutions to some of our major global challenges. Thus much cheaper access to space, as has been noted for years, is the fundamental change needed to allow human space exploration, commercial R&D, and development of associated space services.
The proposed White House changes for NASA include cancellation of the Constellation Program that’s currently tasked with developing a medium-sized rocket and space capsule ...

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