From National Review Online:
Like the monster in some ghastly horror movie rising from the dead for the umpteenth time, the space shuttle is back on the launch pad. This grotesque, lethal white elephant — 14 deaths in 113 flights — is the grandest, grossest technological folly of our age. If the shuttle has any reason for existing, it is as an exceptionally clear symbol of our corrupt, sentimental, and dysfunctional political system. Its flights accomplish nothing and cost half a billion per. That, at least, is what a flight costs when the vehicle survives. If a shuttle blows up — which, depending on whether or not you think that 35 human lives (five original launchworthy Shuttles at seven astronauts each) would be too high a price to pay for ridding the nation of an embarrassing and expensive monstrosity, is either too often or not often enough** — then the cost, what with lost inventory, insurance payouts, and the endless subsequent investigations, is seven or eight times that.