While some have dismissed Rutan's exploits as low-tech, high-wire parlor tricks, many scientists are ready to embrace a vision in which venture capitalists take over the business of manned spaceflight. For NASA to continue making human spaceflight a top priority is "an incredibly dumb idea," says Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg. By year's end, the president had failed to detail the cost involved in his initiative for human-based exploration, and the future of NASA's manned efforts seemed more uncertain than ever. For example, in late summer, the main oxygen generator on the International Space Station failed, then worked only sporadically for seven weeks. Weinberg and others in the scientific community contend that NASA should focus on making discoveries through robotic missions such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scheduled to launch this August, and the James Webb Space Telescope, the high-powered replacement for the Hubble. These programs are safer, cheaper and far more scientifically valuable, they argue, than ones involving astronauts.