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Harsh reality files: In other space travel news today …

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In “SpaceX: Promises, Promises” (American Thinker,, May 28, 2012), science fiction writer Terry L. Mirll contrasts fiction with reality, when it comes to space exploration:

The closest we have to the commercial spaceliner has been NASA’s space shuttle, and now the SpaceX Dragon. Despite its enormous success, however, the shuttle had its failures as well; most notably the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Further, we should note: As there were only five shuttles in NASA’s entire inventory, the loss of two shuttles represents a 40% loss of fleet. Name, please, the number of idiots willing to pay for a flight aboard an aircraft whose company boasts a mere 40% loss of its fleet. Harry Reid can only do so much.

Hotels in space? The closest we have is the International Space Station. It’s not a hotel. It’s a glorified fishbowl in shallow orbit, ready to be pierced at any moment by a passing scattershot of micrometeorites. In other words, a death-trap. Until 2001, there was the Mir, showing what the Russians could achieve with only a bit of Soviet-era engineering, hard work, chicken wire, and wads of duct tape. And should I mention that flaming fireball known as Skylab?

As for trips to the moon to visit the research colonies, there are none. For that matter, we haven’t been to the moon in forty years. In 2010, Obama called on NASA to end its Constellation program. Apparently, “never” is the new “regular.”

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