I have to agree with Stephan Kinsella on the shuttle and the rest of the government's space program:
The Atlantis space shuttle launch a few minutes ago reminded me of Ayn Rand's overdone, starry-eyed praise of the Apollo 11 moon launch. Rand saw the launch as "A Symbol of Man’s Greatness," "the concretized abstraction of man's greatness," "a demonstration of man at his best," and "the demonstration of man’s highest potential." The rocket launch by a bureaucratic agency of a criminal organization had, she claimed, "moral-epistemological" "significance". Dunno. All I see is a billion dollars wasted hurling a refrigerator into space.