in reply to
The most important near-term goal of a space program:
Since I worked for about 20 years in the aerospace (my degrees say "Mechanical Engineer," but that includes a lot of territory; mine was fluid dynamics and thermo), I've got to love this poll.
Since it was "near-term," I voted for "Reduce the cost of putting things in space," as by doing that the other things become easier.
Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world.
—Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center