August 5, 2012

Reason.tv: What is an Astronaut’s Life Worth?

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Space, Technology, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 10:28

“You’re saying that you’re going to give up four billion dollars to avoid a one in seven chance of killing an astronaut, you’re basically saying an astronaut’s life is worth twenty-eight billion dollars,” says astronautical engineer and author Dr. Robert Zubrin.

Zubrin, the author of a popular and controversial article in Reason‘s space-centric February 2012 Special Issue, argues that the risk of losing one of the seven astronauts who repaired and rescued the Hubble Space Telescope was well worth it. “If you put this extreme value on the life of an astronaut…then you never fly, and you get a space agency which costs seventeen billion dollars a year and accomplishes nothing.”

NASA’s role, according to Zubrin, should be in the pursuit of ambitious missions such as “opening Mars to humanity,” rather than a bloated, safety-obsessed bureaucracy. “The mission has to come first.”

1 Comment

  1. No-one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No-one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets. And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes; and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us.

    Comment by The Artilleryman — August 6, 2012 @ 20:48

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