Atlantis Launched

For the final time the Atlantis is aloft. And as some would say, she’s home for the last time.

She is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Sunday and to return home after thirteen days.

This marks the final launch of any space shuttle. With the end of the program and no concrete replacement, NASA is planning on laying off over 14,000 people from across the board.

One of their chief concerns is that with the glut of unemployed aerospace workers, few young people will want to embark in training for a career in space work, leading to a generational “brain drain” that will cripple the American space program in a decade or two.

6 replies on “Atlantis Launched”

  1. Not only the final shuttle launch, but quite possibly the last NASA operated manned launch. Under the current plan, all future manned NASA missions will have the launch outsourced. It really is the end of an era.

    At least some of the private companies are using spectator-worthy launch vehicles. I really couldn’t see making a trip to watch a Virgin Galactic launch… SpaceX is using a rocket though.

    And Aerospace was already a severely declining field. Many Engineering schools have cut Aerospace Engineering programs and replaced them with the lesser-scoped Aeronautics Engineering programs, as most of the graduates were going into aircraft work anyways.

  2. Hey, if the shoe fits.

    The President can’t whine about no one going into technology fields and expect people to do that in the face of headlines about the layoffs of THOUSANDS of high tech workers.

    Our so called “LEADERS” in Washington dropped the ball here.

    If the US fails to put another human into space ever again TODAY will be noted in the history books as they day we ended our leadership in the world. Everything else we lose with respect to technology in other fields will be show as following on to our glaring failure to maintain the capability of human spaceflight.

    • As much as the geek in me wants to see more emphasis in space travel from the government I have to temper that with the realization the US economy is in shambles and is threatening to buckle completely.

      The vast majority of those layed off will find work in the private sector. I actually expect to see a boom in private space travel in the next decade.

        • Makes me think of the film “October Sky” (based on the book “Rocket Boys”). Every time I see it, I realize that kids doing that same thing today (building their own rockets and launching them in the woods) would get locked up and/or medicated.

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