NASA Administrator contrasts the Apollo program with the Shuttle program

In a post STS-120 shuttle mission interview, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin compared the difficulty of the Apollo program to the present-day Shuttle program:https://engineering.purdue.edu/AAE/AboutUs/News/Events/20070328BoeingLecGriffin/michael_griffin_nasa.jpg

“I think that building the space station is far more difficult, and certainly far more complex, than was executing Apollo. Apollo was an incredible leap from where we were. But it was simpler than what we are trying to do today.

“We don’t have the experience base to appreciate how great it really is. Humans have been building bridges for a thousand years, more, so each new, more exciting bridge is an extension beyond what was done (before), but because it’s just an extension, it’s an increment, we don’t see it. If somebody puts a picture of the new, highest bridge in the world in France on the internet, everybody says wow, that’s great.

“Well, building the space station is like building the world’s newest and highest bridge, except people can’t drive across it,” Griffin said. “The only way you can see it is in the photos we bring back or the TV images we send. What we are building here is larger than a football field. And we’re doing it in zero gravity. … What’s happening here is extraordinary. I mean, you need to be able to appreciate it. And it’s way beyond anything that has ever been done by human beings before, anywhere.”

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~ by tellinghistory on November 10, 2007.

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