Skip to comments.Lost in Space: NASA's Sixty-three Million Dollar Russian Taxi Rides
Posted on 04/19/2012 2:48:18 PM PDT by Nachum
The Space Shuttle Discovery flying piggyback on a Boeing 747 for its Last Hurrah flight around the Washington Monument and the White House was a grim reminder of misplaced and misspent priorities.
The storied 30-year space shuttle program, which began with the launch of Columbia, April 12, 1981, ended last July, when Atlantis landed back on Earth. Since then, the price of a Russian taxi ride aboard the Soyuz to reach the International Space Station has skyrocketed from $55.8 million per seat with a guarantee of no less than six trips to 12 round trips to $63 million per seat, in 2013-14.
It was the shuttles Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour, Atlantis and the 355 crew members who flew 135 missions over 30 years that built, hunk by hunk, the football field-sized lab in Earth orbit and launched the Hubble Space Telescope that allowed humanity to see billions of times farther into space than we ever could before.
The programs shutdown comes after blowing $1 trillion on the Iraq war that put Irans mullahs in the drivers seat in Baghdad, and half a trillion dollars (and counting) in Afghanistan, where the Taliban enemy, taking a page from the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, surprise-attacked several widely scattered targets simultaneously,
The longest period of war in U.S. history, with its grim toll of 6,345 U.S. troops killed and 46,300 wounded in both Iraq and Afghanistan, unlike World War II, did not produce hosannas of praise and gratitude. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans are also dead, and still more injured. By Afghan exit time in 2014, the two wars will have cost the U.S. taxpayer $3 trillion.
(Excerpt) Read more at acus.org ...
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IIRC, SpaceX is required to do 17 Falcon 9 flights in order to have it certified as man-rated. After the launch this 30 April 2012 there will only be 14 more flights to go.
In the mean time we put all of our eggs in the Ruskies’ basket!
The point made about depending on the Russians is valid. They will gouge us, because we put ourselves in that position, and it is in their nature to do so.
The rest of the entire article is leftist crap, in my opinion. I didn’t need a bunch of liberals to tell me we shot ourselves in the foot by killing our space program.
It would be cheaper to abandon ship. Just tell the Russians that useless boondoggle is theirs and leave. We still have unmanned satellites for military purposes and have never manufactured anything exotic in zero gravity beyond the experimental stage. There is no realistic plan or money to return to the moon or go to Mars, so what is the point of such expenditures of money?
Let me first say I do not support dismantling America’s manned space program nor the mothballing of the shuttle. However, in terms of economics, the Russians have us beat if the goal is to just put people in orbit. At $1 billion a flight, a 7-man shuttle cost $143 million a person per launch. Granted, you also got a fair amount of cargo with that price tag, but I don’t think you can argue $65 million is gouging. Heck, even if we man-rated the Atlas V tomorrow without increasing its $200 million launch cost, we would have to orbit four astronauts per launch to beat the Russian price tag.
I look forward to the day when SpaceX can blow all those figures out of the water.