NASA and its critics need to understand one thing – pioneering isn’t and never has been safe. Still, if there is a shortage of people willing to take the risk, I’m available. I could be in Florida in about 3 days. Wouldn’t even have to pay me, though I would expect a decent internet connection so I could b!%g from space. Seriously, astronauts understand the risks. You can’t be as smart as they have to be and not understand them. That isn’t a license to be foolhardy, but great rewards require great risks.
But amid the cheers, aerospace experts said the series of glitches that dogged the flight — falling foam insulation, faulty sensors, protruding heat-resistant fabric, a torn insulation blanket — underscored the fragility of the shuttles and NASA’s troubling inability to resolve some of their fundamental safety problems.
Observers said the space agency still has a long way to go before shuttle flights regain their routine status, a necessary milestone before the nation embarks on President Bush’s far more complex goal of sending astronauts to the moon and Mars.
Filing this under “Economics” because it’s all about the risk-reward relationship.