Tadpoles from Heaven; October 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Richard Wassersug; 1 Page(s)
Like the cat that came back, the space station Freedom once again grips the attention of the U.S. Congress. Year after year Congress tries to snuff out the space station, and year after year it squeaks through. What could be more surreal than a space station that doesn't exist yet won't go away?
Why won't it? Given the more pressing problems on the home planet, why is such an adventure contemplated for even a nanosecond? The human exploration of space will be (excuse the pun) astronomically expensive. We have all heard that robots could do the job more cheaply and more safely. Why, then, are we, the taxpayers, repetitively entertaining multibillion-dollar initiatives to get a few of our kind into orbit, off to the moon and eventually to Mars? Why have we not declared these latter propositions positive lunacy (in the metaphorical sense) and left them at that?