Question: How valuable has the shuttle program been?

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, May 16, 2011

With this morning’s final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, the second-last shuttle launch, here’s a question to ponder: Has the space shuttle program, which commenced with its first manned flight in 1982, been worth it? The 135 flights have produced some science and lots of technological advances from experimenting in low Earth orbit. But would the cost of the shuttle program (estimated to be $170 billion through 2008) have been better applied to scientific probes to the planets, orbiting research satellites, and telescopes that arguably could have produced many times the scientific results?

Let me know what you think.

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