The Island Group still has the problem of launch costs. VentureStar ultimately failed because the fuel tank design was not strong enough causing them to rupture during testing. It was moving along fairly well until then and then quickly cancelled. I thought they should have held on to it until a stronger fuel tank could be made or else use the next best thing. Even with heavier tanks, the launch costs could have been greatly reduced form the shuttle's 10,000 dollars per pound. There are those in the Government who would do away with NASA. 13.8 billion per year is nothing compared to the whole Federal Budget. If some of these private launch companies can get off the ground, all those problems can be bypassed. A Canadian group just tested their launch engines and checked out well.