You can check out the entire launch and recovery of the craft (minus its payload of one Tesla Roadster) here (The actual launch happens a little before the 30 minute mark).
A true American pioneer, Sally Ride has passed away at age 61 after a 17 month battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
Flying aboard the Challenger in 1983, she made US history. She flew again on the same shuttle a year later. A physist as well as an astronaut, she helped design the robotic arm that made the shuttles (and later the ISS) so versatile and successful.
She also served on the two review boards overseeing the destruction of the Challenger and the Columbia.
A successful launch after a scrubbed launch last week put SpaceX in the lead for private contractors to handle missions to the ISS. The unmanned capsule is planned to dock with the ISS if everything is go. This is only the second launch for the Dragon capsule and the third for the Falcon 9 rocket.
The overall goal is to make space flight more cost-effective, something that NASA has not been able to do.
Space.com has the details here.
So, the question is: Do you think switching away from government-based to commercial-based space flight will hurt or hinder our exploration of the stars?
“After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle’s earned its place in history. And it’s come to a final stop.”
In the pre-dawn hours in Florida, the Space Shuttle Atlantis came to a stop, ending a 30-year era of space travel for the United States.
The crew of four ended their historic mission forty-two years and one day after we first set foot on the moon.
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.
NASA has set the date for the final launch of a Space Shuttle. Friday, July 8th, the Atlantis will make history and close out the 30-year program.
In a very cool looking night landing, the youngest ship in the fleet, the Endeavour, comes to rest at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Next month, Atlantis will be making the final shuttle flight to resupply the ISS as well as experiment with in-space refueling, a concept necessary for manned space travel to move beyond the Earth and Moon. She was rolled out onto the launch pad yesterday, watched by over 8000 NASA personnel and onlookers.
For the first time ever, a man-made probe has entered into orbit around the Sun’s closest neighbor.
Space Shuttle Discovery, the oldest and most experienced shuttle in the fleet has come home, one final time.
Endeavor and Atlantis are still scheduled for their own missions, but Discovery marks the beginning of the end for a 30-year era at NASA.
To get an idea of what she’s accomplished, look at it this way:
- Spent a just over a year in space (365 days, 12 hours, 53 minutes, 34 seconds)
- Flown a distance equivalent to 1.5 trips to the Sun.