Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Needle and the Damage Done

A little part of it is in everyone. Addicts continue to do what will eventually kill them because they think they can get away with it just "one more time." They always do eventually quit, but not usually on their own terms.

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida wants just one more shot of the shuttle milk-blood. He's going to ask the next Emperor to spend "$300-400M" to get one last shuttle flight to ISS carrying Sam Ting's magic machine. He says the hardware is already available in the form of an extra external tank that is kept in reserve for a rescue mission. Since it would be the last space shuttle flight, and since the ISS is a safe haven, the rescue tank would not be needed and could be put to good use.

Say what?

We love the contorted logic of addicts.

Ahhhhhh, Sen. Nelson, sir. Just how would you get that crew off the safe haven if that last tank happens to let go of its precious foam? Have you asked the Russians if they have three or so Soyuz's in the pipeline and ready to go on short order to save Ting's lambs? Maybe you'd rather ask the Chinese for help?

While we don't expect our Senators to really have a handle on what things cost or to balance our national checkbook we would hope that they would draw the line at trying to understand probability theory and its implications for human lives. That $300-400M could go towards making AMS a free flyer and for putting that last ET in the Smithsonian where it belongs. That makes a lot more sense than putting seven more bodies in Arlington.


Anonymous said...

Senator Nelson is the guy who claims that 'animals don't have souls' and 'humans are the only species with curiosity'. Directed at an agency (NASA) charged with investigating the cosmos, its origin and evolution, and all that it contains, I find this statement pretty curious in its own right (or as it happens in this case, wrong).

Perhaps the esteemed Mr. Nelson would like to get into the cage and play with Tatiana.

Tatiana is curious about Bill.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad that at the end of Apollo
NASA left 3 flight worthy Saturn V's to rot
and the Skylab B to sit in a museum.

It's worth it to spend the marginal cost to
close out the hardware and program.

(This coming from a major league shuttle

Now if you have some crew get stuck, well,
that's the same problem if that occurs
on the last shuttle flight too.

Have them go up with enough supplies to
last a long time, and pay the russians to get them

Mr. X said...

It's very easy to see "just one more shuttle flight" turning into an extension of the program. It could be turned into a children's book, replacing the phrase "If you give a mouse a cookie" with "If you give a Congress-critter an AMS mission."