Technology and (outer) Space – Follow up

April 9, 2010

After presenting the topic of the International Space Station to my group, we discussed how the space industry will change with the loss of the Space Shuttle Program.  One option is that NASA will join up with the Russian program, using Russian rockets and launch sites.  This may relieve the tension between Russia and the United States as the US has been pushing Russia to sign a new nuclear arms treaty in which both nations will continue to reduce their nuclear stockpiles.  A second possible outcome of losing the Space Shuttle is that travel to the International Space Station and beyond will be in the hands of private corporations.  This is not a new concept, as contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman design and build our military aircraft.  The downside to private corporations running the space program is their limited budget.   As space travel is expensive, vehicles and missions will be small scale and not as frequent as current NASA missions.   In the end, I don’t believe the space program will fall apart.  The loss of  the Shuttles is a temporary “bump in the road” which will be bypassed somehow.

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