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NASA administrator says space shuttle was a mistake

By Traci Watson

The space shuttle and International Space Station “” nearly the whole of the U.S. manned space program for the past three decades “” were mistakes, NASA chief Michael Griffin said Tuesday. In a meeting with USA TODAY’s editorial board, Griffin said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo moon missions in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth.

“It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,”? Griffin said. “We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”? The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it’s finished “” in 2010 or later “” may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that.

Read the original article at: USA TODAY

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