@Gene Cash - reducing costs...
Indeed, it's all too easy for any long-running operation (public or private) to have "status quo" as their real day-to-day goal and "because I'm worth it" as their justification. Feynmann's appendix to the Challenger disaster enquiry remains as aspirational as ever:
They must live in reality in comparing the costs and utility of the Shuttle to other methods of entering space. And they must be realistic in making contracts, in estimating costs, and the difficulty of the projects. Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed, schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met. If in this way the government would not support them, then so be it. NASA owes it to the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for the use of their limited resources.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.