I couldn’t agree more. Safety cannot–and should not–be the top priority if we are going to have a program that is affordable and actually accomplishes anything.
Does that in any way trivialize the lives and well being of astronauts? Absolutely not. It’s a recognition that space exploration is inherently dangerous: risk will always be there, and safety goes too far when it blunts our ability to actually do anything meaningful.
Respect for the bravery, sacrifice and achievement of explorers is a central them of In the Shadow of Ares. We honor them by pressing on with the mission.