“..... pushed per launch costs to near $1 billion...”
Not to mention the astounding missed opportunity cost of having a pretend space program instead of a real one.
I caught Mark Kelly on his gun control rant on Fox News Sunday and while I don’t discount his personal tragedy, it struck me in a way completely aside from his interview - It mostly occured to me how this guy couldn’t polish the moon boots of an astronaut like Neil Armstrong, or most of the Apollo or pre-Apollo astronauts.
Such was the Shuttle. A mediocrity bred by a formerly great organization of mediocrities.
Now hopefully we can reconstitute some sort of a Saturn V follow-on (and all the space exploration possibilities it would bring) before all the useful data and technical folks are dead and gone.
Remember, he was in the same training group as the Pampers Lady, if I'm not mistaken.
I wonder if part of the problem at NASA may be that not all of the useful data and technical folks are gone YET.
Technology has changed dramatically over the years, and if you’re stuck with a bunch of 70-year-old engineers who rightfully hold their own intelligence in very high regard, it might be difficult to persuade them that you don’t have to build a rocket engine as a finely-crafted work of art anymore thanks to technology and materials advancement.