A while back, I mentioned on Facebook that I wasn’t sad to see the Shuttle end. Noel said he was sad that I wasn’t sad. That made me, in turn, a little sad. And the cure for sadness, as we all know, is to write a blog post.
Now: I was going to write a post about how (1) manned spaceflight was sort of a dubious idea to begin with, and (2) it wasn’t going away, since lots of other countries are doing it, and the US will get back into the business by and by, and (3) the Shuttle really did kinda suck; it was a bad design that was way too expensive and that killed many other, better projects. But that post — or, more likely, posts — would have been cranky. And who wants to read someone else being cranky on the internet?
So here’s a different post. Let’s start with a question: how has spending on space worldwide changed since, ohh, let’s say the end of the Apollo program — 1975? Gone up, gone down, about the same?
Answer below the fold: