Tag: Space Shuttle

“That awkward moment when you realize a an energy drink has a better space program than your nation.”

by on Oct.22, 2012, under Articles, Science

Nevermind how egotistical that statement sounds to the majority of the world who doesn’t even have the capability of a space program thanks to local weather conditions and other environmental conditions such as latitude and elevation, the sad part is that such an awkward moment doesn’t exist even for the United States.

Why? Because of several reasons, as enumerated by Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy in one of his articles.

1. While extraordinary and recording breaking Felix Baumgartner’s skydive was, he did not jump from space. He was only about half way to the designated point that people agree is exiting the earth’s atmosphere and entering low orbit.

2. NASA is still doing amazing space exploration, and will continue to do so as long as it has a budget, regardless of its capability to send a person into space. Thanks to technology such as satellites and robotic rovers, we’re exploring our solar system faster than we ever have before, in an incredibly safe manner. We’re collecting the data we need for true human space travel. NASA isn’t half-assed when it comes to this stuff.

3. We’ve been unable to send people into space in the past. After the Apollo missions, there was a nine-year gap in which NASA did not have a space vehicle capable of sending people into space. In comparison, we’re expecting SpaceX and various other companies to being contracting human spaceflight to NASA within the next five years.

4. The shuttle retiring is not a bad thing. Yes most of you may have grown up with the NASA space shuttle program. But you do realize there were other programs before it? And there will be other programs after it. The shuttle program, while immensely successful in helping us build the international space station and fixing Hubble, and doing multitudes of scientific studies in space, outlived its estimated timeline for several years. Those shuttles needed to retire. We pushed them further on an increasingly smaller budget than we really should have. It is time for something new.

Phil Plait makes this points far more eloquently and with more inherent knowledge than I, but I felt like needing to share these things. I understand that a majority of people aren’t interested in space anymore. It makes me sad, considering how close we are to so many great breakthroughs.

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The Last Space Shuttle set to launch in about an hour

by on Jul.08, 2011, under Articles, Science, Technology

So the final space shuttle liftoff is set to launch in just a little over an hour. There is a chance weather is going to cancel the lift off until next week but as of right now, everybody is still preparing. Right now you can go to Nasa.gov and the first page will take you to their live stream of NasaTV which will be covering everything up to and beyond the launch.

Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Primary Payload: Raffaello Multi-purpose Logistics Module
Launch Date: July 8
Launch Time: 11:26 a.m. EDT
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A
Landing Date: July 20
Landing Time: 7:06 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility
Mission Duration: 12 days
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Good luck Atlantis!

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Space Shuttle Discovery Landed, Never to Fly Again

by on Mar.09, 2011, under Articles, News, Science, Technology

Just a few minuets ago, on March 9th, 2011 11:57am ET, NASA space shuttle Discovery landed for the final time, completing a twenty-seven year rotation of thirty-nine missions. It spent a cumulative three hundred and sixty-five days in space and it will soon be decommissioned and housed in the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Good bye, Discovery.

Space shuttle Discovery touches down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, March 9, to end the STS-133 mission. Photo credit: NASA TV

The Discovery will be the first of three shuttles decommissioned. The final two missions by Endeavor and Atlantis will finish by late June of this year, and the era of the NASA space shuttle will end.

 

There is a lot to say about America’s space program; the hardship they have endured for the last few decades. There is plenty to speculate about the loss of its funding and financing, the lack of public support for their projects, and its uncertain future

But now is not the time to discuss that. Now is the time to understand, reflect, and marvel at the effort and work that was put into the space shuttle program as it takes its final steps. To remember that wonder you felt the first time you saw a picture, video, or perhaps even saw a shuttle with your own eyes, knowing that that piece of machinery was a stepping stone for humanity to reach beyond our little planet.

Thank you Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis, the entire fleet, and people who piloted, maintained, rode, and oversaw their operation. Thank you for being apart of some of the best of humanity’s history.

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