The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it's finished — in 2010 or later — may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that.That's just half a Katrina, so I don't have a problem with the money. The deaths are an obvious problem, but so is the sheer, clunky dullness of endlessly orbiting Earth. Can't we please go somewhere?
UPDATE: Edited for accuracy as noted. He's not so blunt.