Saturday, July 30, 2005
NASA's failure to make Discovery completely safe has given new ammunition to critics who want to ground the space shuttle program, even though the popular spacecraft remains the United States' only vehicle to space.
Translation: Any space agency with a clue could make a spacecraft "completely safe." Naturally, critics want to ground any spacecraft that isn't "completely safe," and they would succeed, too, if it weren't so damn popular with easily fooled Americans. But the real reason America continues to fly the dangerous shuttle is that it has no other option.
Dumping the space shuttle would make the United States dependent on Russia to send astronauts to the International Space Station, where Discovery is currently docked.
Translation: America is endangering its astronauts and those of its allies out of great power rivalry. Because everybody knows that Russian spacecraft are "completely safe."
But the current fleet has strong political support backed by public opinion and the cost of maintaining Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis.
Astronauts train at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where Bush was governor. The shuttle is launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and employs 14,000 people in a state whose governor is Bush's brother, Jeb Bush.
Translation: The space shuttle program is really all about Bush family patronage.
To this snark I must reply with just one bit of evidence:
Hey, at least our airports are "completely safe."
The prosecution rests.