The Houston Chronicle says that astronauts can’t explore space on a wing and a prayer. Sure, they’ve got a point. If more people knew more about the shuttle’s problems, something might have been done differently. Maybe.
What’s more to the point is that the shuttle is the best that 1970s technology has to offer and nothing more. If anything, its design has been compromised since it originated by non-technical interference.
Where are the scientific advances that will replace the shuttle? NASA is woefully underfunded when compared to many other non-productive government agencies. How can we expect our best and brightest to work technological miracles with very little funding? Or has this country simply lost interest in exploration and advancement?
The fact is that the shuttle should have been retired some years ago, put out to pasture by a better idea. Unfortunately, America chose to let the aerospace industry stagnate instead of investing in the one area that could bring real dividends to everyone. Does anyone care?