NASA Adrift in Interplanetary Space

Since the first Apollo landing in 1969, NASA has been looking, unsuccessfully, for an overarching goal to match this spectacular achievement: landing men on the Moon.  The International Space Station (ISS) has not turned out to be what it was advertised.  It has made no breakthrough scientific contributions; it has not explored the solar system further; and it has not excited a great amount of public interest since it was set up.  In retrospect, many would refer to it as a white elephant.  Its annual maintenance costs are a drain on the NASA budget.  Even worse, its supply has to be contracted out -- to Russia.  The trouble is: ISS had no well-defined goal. Yes, there have been plenty of proposals.  During the first Bush administration, NASA thought it had a clear go-ahead and proposed a manned Mars mission, in addition to putting a manned base on the Moon (to do what?).  But once the price tag was revealed, around 400 billion dollars (which...(Read Full Article)