Flawless Launch – Now Let’s Retire It

Rand Simberg notes the irony. The shuttle launched perfectly yesterday, with no tile damage. This is one of the last scheduled missions for the system, and it looks like they finally got it right.

Just a little earlier in the day, Rand discusses the gap that will occur between the time the shuttle is retired and the time its replacement is ready.

Anyway, let’s talk about The Gap, the one that Babs Mikulski and Kay Bailey Hutchison think is so critical to “national security” (at least Senator Hutchison, though she never explains exactly how) that NASA must get an extra couple billion dollars to close it.What gap is that? The only gap will be that of NASA’s inability to put up astronauts on their own new launch vehicle, based on a flawed concept, that’s turning out to not be “safe,” “simple,” or “soon,” as originally advertised.

It’s really hard to fly in space without a vehicle. It’s nearly as hard without a mission.

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