Since you won’t hear a peep out of the so-called “mainstream media”, I thought I’d hook y’all up with the info you deserve.

While the rest of us snoozed in our beds, NASA put a whole mess of hardware into space. Atlantis’ mission: Add a much-needed Airlock to the ever-growing station. This will be the first of several assembly missions that will require the new station arm (nicknamed “The Big Arm”) to snatch the payload from the orbiter and assemble itself. The Big Arm had been malfunctioning (thus delaying this launch), but it appears to have corrected itself.

What’s more, they’re in a bit of a hurry. Water lines in the new airlock will freeze if they can’t get it installed withing 10 hours of leaving the shuttle’s cargo bay.

Good luck kids!

In related shuttle news, NASA is apparently considering mothballing Columbia, the first space-worthy shuttle. Due to a projected budget shortfall of about $800 million over the next six years, NASA’s looking for ways to cut costs.

How about that? I’ve written my representatives (House | Senate) in Washington, have you?