Does NASA need humanity to get to Mars?

(ORDO NEWS) — Reason.com celebrates NASA‘s successful completion of the Artemis I mission, but then they wonder if the project is worth the money.

Reason Foundation director of transportation policy, Robert W. Poole, says the agency “isn’t particularly interested in cost savings, and decisions are too heavily politically driven.”

NASA would be better off replacing the expensive and outdated Space Launch System used in the Artemis program.

But the agency did not.

This is likely due in large part to the fact that it was built and designed in Alabama, the home state of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, who has already put pressure on NASA in the past.

Wouldn’t it be faster and cheaper to just rely on private companies? Today, for example, companies like Elon Musk‘s SpaceX are launching rockets at a faster rate and for less money than NASA spends.

Private companies are already developing and leasing much of their equipment to NASA.

Poole says there’s no reason NASA can’t go even further and use a SpaceX starship for the entire journey from Earth to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

Poole believes that instead of operating its own flights, NASA should play a more limited and supportive role.

“NASA’s future role that makes the most sense is research and development to advance science,” he says.

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