Speak Out: When Will We Return to Space?

Does the Discovery trip end one chapter, or start another?

The Space Shuttle Discovery made its retirement voyage from Florida to Virginia, dazzling spectators who stopped to watch the final flight.


For those of us who remember the moon walks and the Challenger and Columbia disasters, this was a bittersweet moment. The United States has accomplished so much in space—it seems sad we have to hitch a ride from the Russians to send our scientists to the International Space Station.

In , Falls Church Patch Editor Andre Taylor met up with Terry Springer, NASA’s lead for communications and education. Springer said NASA is looking into different spacecraft to replace the shuttles but there is no timeframe for when a prototype will be ready.

"NASA is not dead just because the shuttles are retired," Springer said. "There is still a space program."

Which begs the question, how long do you think it will be before the United States is back in space? Is a space program too expensive? Or is it a vital part of science infrastructure?


Tom Termini April 19, 2012 at 09:23 PM
JH, if you think Rom-bot or any others are any different/better, dream on. Every politician is an egotist who can't wait to spend everyone else's money on war, corporate patrons, and self-centered cronies to feed his/her own narcissistic self loathing. They are all the same - the only answer is... (you think I'm giving the answer away that easily?)
Allan W. April 20, 2012 at 08:44 AM
Bring NASA under the DOD and you'll have new ships coming off the rack in no time. You can rehire all the engineers and keep all the people who are working on stealth fighter/bombers who look to see they're programs cut with money going elsewhere. Certainly mastery of space and space flight is an important component of any defence strategy.
Tom Termini April 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Why not go the other way? Increase science and education spending by 10%, and decrease defense spending by 10%? Net result - deficit gone in a decade, a more peaceful posture, and human existence improved.
Jeff Hawkins April 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Interesting idea Tom......might work!
K J May 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The US needs to get back into space and space transport for people. The economics benefits will end the "Great Recession" faster than other methods. There is all the universe and its assets outside this very finite planet. kj


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