In 2008, Wayne Hale wrote a blog post entitled, “Shutting Down the Shuttle” in which he it being too late, even then, to restart the Shuttle program. He focused on the fact that the Space Shuttle program had started shutting down in 2004, as directed by Congress and the President. Even in 2008, he noted it would be infeasible to restart the program because of logistical issues and most of all, because of money.
Now that the Soyuz is on a forced hiatus, there is talk of getting the Shuttle program started again to get Americans into space. This is a fallacy. It’s can’t be done. The Shuttle program is over. Getting back into space is important, but the Shuttle isn’t the way to do it. We need to, as Wayne puts it, get out of the Model-T era and into modern era.
The path that we are supposed to be on is that the money formerly used to operate the Shuttle would now be used to develop a new rocket to get us out of low earth orbit and back into the deep space exploration business.
Wayne ended that 2008 blog post by saying, “That horse has left the barn.” He titled his recent post on the same subject, “After the Barn Burned Down.” The Space Shuttle is the only space program I’ve even known. It’s been a part of my life that I’ve been mourning recently because of its end. Much as I hate to say it, the Shuttle program is over, let’s get on with it and get back into deep space.