iminplaya writes "After years of delays, NASA hopes to launch this week a European-built laboratory that will greatly expand the research capability of the international space station. Although some call it a milestone, the launch has focused new attention on the space agency's earlier decision to back out of plans to send up a different, $1.5 billion device — one that many scientists contend would produce far more significant knowledge. "...it would be a true international disgrace if this instrument ends up as a museum piece that never is used.""
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