Atlantis: last launch of the shuttle

20 posts / 0 new
Last post
CFABLACKBELT's picture

Anyone else catch this? I watched it earlier and it was pretty bitter-sweet for me. Space exploration never ceases to amaze me, but I can’t help but feeling extremely disappointed in our leaders. We have nothing in the pipeline to get us even into LEO until maybe 2016. We are going to be in the awkward position of hitching rides with the Russians for a cool $40-$60mm per head.

mar350's picture

…and branson (UK).

i’m not gonna lie - a little part of me wanted to see it blow up, but i’m more glad that it didn’t. it doesn’t get any further than the final frontier.

lxwarr30's picture

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Even though NASA’s iconic space shuttle program is ending in a matter of weeks, the future of American human spaceflight remains bright, according to NASA chief Charlie Bolden.

Private spaceflight firms will pick up NASA’s slack before too long, ferrying humans to low-Earth orbit and back relatively cheaply and efficiently, Bolden told reporters here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday (July 7).

And handing off that taxi service to commercial companies, Bolden added, will free the space agency up to do what it was meant to do: explore further afield in our solar system. So the nation is not abandoning human spaceflight, despite a pervasive public perception to the contrary, he said.

pimpineasy's picture

mar350 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> …and branson (UK).
>
> i’m not gonna lie - a little part of me wanted to
> see it blow up, but i’m more glad that it didn’t.
> it doesn’t get any further than the final
> frontier.

u wanted it to blow up?

one too many michael bay movie or something

Hope this helps

CFABLACKBELT's picture

lxwarr30 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Even though NASA’s iconic
> space shuttle program is ending in a matter of
> weeks, the future of American human spaceflight
> remains bright, according to NASA chief Charlie
> Bolden.
>
> Private spaceflight firms will pick up NASA’s
> slack before too long, ferrying humans to
> low-Earth orbit and back relatively cheaply and
> efficiently, Bolden told reporters here at NASA’s
> Kennedy Space Center on Thursday (July 7).
>
> And handing off that taxi service to commercial
> companies, Bolden added, will free the space
> agency up to do what it was meant to do: explore
> further afield in our solar system. So the nation
> is not abandoning human spaceflight, despite a
> pervasive public perception to the contrary, he
> said.

That’s fine and I agree with most of that, but not after we’ve already poured next to $8bn in the Orion project and another some billion into the X-33. The problem with these projects is that it seems the tech. developed goes completely to waste (ex/ from what I’ve read, the air-force tried to get the tech from the X-33, but was shot down multiple times and nothing ever became of it). I guess I’m more frustrated with just that; the waste and bureaucracy.

99 cannon sloop's picture

I’d like to see research conducted for the construction of massive space colonies at Lagrange points and terraforming of planets. Even if it sounds impossible, that didn’t stop Henry Ford, whose engineers told him that it was IMPOSSIBLE BY THE LAWS OF NATURE to build a 6-cylinder engine. He told them, “Keep trying.” Eventually, they built one after several months/years.

Black Swan's picture

99 cannon sloop Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I’d like to see research conducted for the
> construction of massive space colonies at Lagrange
> points and terraforming of planets. Even if it
> sounds impossible, that didn’t stop Henry Ford,
> whose engineers told him that it was IMPOSSIBLE BY
> THE LAWS OF NATURE to build a 6-cylinder engine.
> He told them, “Keep trying.” Eventually, they
> built one after several months/years.

Agreed. The world needs a frontier.

redacted

lxwarr30's picture

Black Swan Wrote:
——————————————————-
> 99 cannon sloop Wrote:
> ————————————————–
> —–
> > I’d like to see research conducted for the
> > construction of massive space colonies at
> Lagrange
> > points and terraforming of planets. Even if it
> > sounds impossible, that didn’t stop Henry Ford,
> > whose engineers told him that it was IMPOSSIBLE
> BY
> > THE LAWS OF NATURE to build a 6-cylinder
> engine.
> > He told them, “Keep trying.” Eventually, they
> > built one after several months/years.
>
> Agreed. The world needs a frontier.

Yea. I need an adventure. It’s Monday and I’m sleepy at work. I should be in a space caravan out to settle XYZ Planet. This is messed up.

Traderanalyst's picture

I agree that this wont have any effect on Future space exploration those shitty shuttles are too slow in order to explore or ever get close to any exo planets in the goldilock zone.. we need to travel close to speed of light so what we need to do right now is to figure out how we can travel very very very fast atleats 50 % speed of light maybe .

CFABLACKBELT's picture

^Project Orion could have achieved around 10%… except it used nukes.

Antimatter engine seems to be the only real way of getting to 50%+ speed of light.

99 cannon sloop's picture

Even going light speed, it supposedly takes dozens or hundreds years to reach the next inhabitable planet. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if you had a system in a ship that could last that long, still a helluva long time, though.

Worm hole teleportation?

lxwarr30's picture

Zero point energy.

ohai's picture

A new “frontier” does not need to include physical exploration. Maybe sustainable energy can be the new frontier. If we have a way of producing limitless energy, space travel will not really be necessary.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

Black Swan's picture

ohai Wrote:
——————————————————-
> A new “frontier” does not need to include physical
> exploration. Maybe sustainable energy can be the
> new frontier. If we have a way of producing
> limitless energy, space travel will not really be
> necessary.

Um, yes it does have to be physical exploration. There’s a personality type that needs it, and if you don’t get that, then you just don’t get it. I’m not talking about some intellectual pursuit here or a new tech era. I’m talking about the existence of adventure and the existence of an unknown world potentially alien from our own. Every generation has had this, from early discovery of continents to the ability to settle in “the new world” and build a new society that attracts fellow like minded adventurers, to the exploration of the arctic and finally the moon with all the unknown limitless possibilities of the imagination that held for our parents’ generation. We’re the first generation without a physical frontier to explore. Our world is so finitely bounded, you can google satellite images of every place, with endless data that destroys the inherent mystery. The human condition is much diminished in this state.

redacted

Black Swan's picture

BTW, did you guys see the father-son image in the news from the latest shuttle launch, pretty cool:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/chris-bray-and-his-fat...

redacted

ohai's picture

I can respect that you personally value physical exploration, like space exploration. But not everyone is necessarily the same. You’re essentially saying that we should think exactly like people of previous generations. This is not true. The fact that the US no longer has manned space flight capability attests to this.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

CFABLACKBELT's picture

ohai Wrote:
——————————————————-
> A new “frontier” does not need to include physical
> exploration. Maybe sustainable energy can be the
> new frontier. If we have a way of producing
> limitless energy, space travel will not really be
> necessary.

That’s a fair point and I agree more a focus on sustainable energy should be a priority. Though, I would argue that letting us fall back in manned space flight was/is not a good move either. Its just incredibly frustrating that we are letting billions in infrastructure and knowledge go to waste.

ohai's picture

Well, certainly it’s sad to see manned space flight take a step back, but maybe this will be good in the long run. The space shuttle basically uses 1980s technology. You could probably fit the equivalent of the original space shuttle control center into an iPhone. From a cost perspective, it might actually have made sense to scrap the space shuttle, as this might open the door to a cheaper and more modern space shuttle replacement (maybe even from the private sector).

I don’t think all the existing knowledge and infrastructure will go to waste. Sure, the space shuttle launch vehicle will probably not be used any more. However, all the research that people have done in manned space flight is recorded somewhere, and many NASA scientists might find employment at Virgin Galactic or similar companies.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

lxwarr30's picture

I agree with BS that we need a new area of exploration. People would “travel west.” I think it does destroy the creativty of modern humans. The only thing on Earth we really have left to explore is the ocean. Which really is a wonderful place. I wish we knew more about it. I think the ocean holds a lot more secrets to our existence.

CFABLACKBELT's picture

lxwarr30 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I agree with BS that we need a new area of
> exploration. People would “travel west.” I think
> it does destroy the creativty of modern humans.
> The only thing on Earth we really have left to
> explore is the ocean. Which really is a wonderful
> place. I wish we knew more about it. I think the
> ocean holds a lot more secrets to our existence.

Also agree. There is just something truly amazing about going after the impossible and it certainly does attract the top minds.

@ohai: agreed also on the shuttle; it was horribly cost-inefficient. Speaking to the infrastructure, what I meant was that despite a lot of tech trickling down since the Apollo era; NASA and the US Gov still have a bad history of letting much of the progress go to waste (i.e. X-33).

Subscribe toComments for "Atlantis: last launch of the shuttle"