Why do we start giant projects (or even smaller ones), whether in space or on Earth, and abandon them prematurely? I am perplexed by that concept?
The April 10, 2009 Wall Street Journal article “Space Station Nears an Extension” states, “The U.S. and major foreign partners on the International Space Station have agreed in principle to keep it operating through 2020, at least five years beyond the current deadline, according to government and industry officials.”
It adds, “But prolonging the facility's life, particularly in the midst of the current global economic turmoil, could also force some tough question within the U.S. space program. Washington could have to spend $10 billion or more between 2015 and 2020 to continue using the space station -- potentially siphoning dollars from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's annual budget of more than $18 billion, primarily from projects intended to return U.S. astronauts to the moon by 2020.”
The space station isn’t even completed and yet members of the U.S. Congress are still considering the abandonment of a fully functioning structure. I wonder about this logic!
Doesn’t this seem a bit wasteful. How would you like it if the city you lived in decided to build a new school with your tax dollars, and you approved it, and in the middle of the project they decided it was too expensive and stopped?
I don’t really care if you support or don’t support the International Space Station.
However, any project that is approved by Congress, developed, and completed, in my estimation, should be continued until it can’t go on any longer. If the Space Station is ready to fall apart and is no longer safe for human occupancy, then it is time to pull the plug. But, that time isn’t even close to being here.
It’s like building a superhighway across the country, or a bridge across the Mississippi River, or a tunnel in New York City, and as soon as they are finished you tell the country we aren’t going to maintain them anymore because we don’t have any money or we’ve changed our minds and they are no longer of interest to the country.
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