The commentary by Jonathan Coopersmith in the Feb. 6 issue [“Reaching for the Stars — Affordably,” page 19] was quite correct in identifying the enormous cost of putting payloads into orbit as “the major challenge facing spaceflight today,” and in calling for a drastic reduction in that cost. But the author aims at the wrong target in identifying the reasons for the enormous cost.
The latest from Dick Morris
I disagree with the claim in the Jan. 17 op-ed by O. Glenn Smith that manned spaceflight is inherently very “difficult, dangerous, and expensive” [“Unintended Consequences for NASA,” page 19] as well as with the comment in the Jan. 10 letter that “all can agree” that developing the space shuttle was a “good decision” [“Putting ‘Griffin’s Zombie’ to Rest,” page 18]. The motive behind the program — to develop a reliable, fully reusable launcher to dramatically reduce launch costs — was excellent, but the implementation was a disaster from the word go.