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NASA Space Science Technology

NASA Sets Final Space Shuttle Flight For July 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-your-reservations-for-a-week-later dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said the final space shuttle flight should take place July 8 at about 11:40 am EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be the 135th and final mission of NASA's storied Space Shuttle Program. NASA said the July date is based on current planning, and an official launch date will be announced following the June 28 Flight Readiness Review. That review of course could delay the flight, since there are a few technical issues to address."
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NASA Sets Final Space Shuttle Flight For July

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  • by kryogen1x (838672) on Friday May 20, 2011 @04:12PM (#36195898)
    Seeing a shuttle launch live is on my bucket list, but I don't wanna take off from work and fly to Florida only to find out the mission is rescheduled 2 weeks later.
  • Re:July 4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dicobalt (1536225) on Friday May 20, 2011 @04:41PM (#36196168)
    If it does we will blame you. It will be your fault. I hope you're happy.
  • Re:Didn't work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday May 20, 2011 @08:20PM (#36198220) Homepage Journal

    Parent is an obvious apologist but I'll respond anyways.

    The Space Shuttle didn't work? You have to be kidding!

    nope

    Someone who claims the space shuttle "didn't work" probably was saying in 2003, "I'm glad those 486's were retired. They weren't even multi-pipelined. Good thing we have these Pentium III / Athlon processors now to take us to new levels of productivity."

    Nope, the Itanium (Merced) is the better analogy. It could do the things it was designed to do, eventually, but for most purposes is not cost effective even thought it looks better on paper. But the Shuttle didn't even look good on paper. You should go listen to the recent Science Friday archive with one of the original Shuttle designers. They *knew* that it was a BS design-by-committee craft and they spent lots of time before it got built trying to make up lies to justify it.

    Do you think any system is going to hit all of its goals the first time around?

    After 30 years of incremental progress it ought to have at least come close.

    Furthermore, their design goal was not to be $50M per launch.

    You're right, in today's dollars it would be more like $40M. In reality it's about $1500M [wikipedia.org]. They missed by a factor of 40.

    Their design goal was to send people and cargo to low-earth-orbit to increase our engineering and science knowledge in space and to return people and cargo safely

    So far so good.

    to a runway touchdown

    What good has that done?

    A hope that they would achieve spaceflight at $50M per launch was merely a political fantasy, which is irrelevant.

    Wait, this was funded by the American people. Are you saying they were lied to but that's irrelevant?

    From a long-term perspective, it doesn't matter if the shuttle cost 10x its initial estimate to operate.

    It's 40x the per-launch cost, but in terms of opportunity costs, the number is much higher - there were only 1/10th the number of projected flights. We probably could have launched rockets once a week, but in the rocket/space station model that wouldn't have been necessary. Better, faster, and cheaper.

    It gave us experience and knowledge from refining processes / technology / materials of the initial system. It has taught us what works, what is difficult to make work and what the practical tradeoffs are for a given spacecraft design. These are the benefits from simply being in the environment.

    True, and an alternate spaceflight program would also have yielded these kinds of results.

    To quote Han Solo, "flyin' through [hyper]space ain't like dustin' crops, boy!"

    That's the authority to quote?

    Tell me: How you are going to do an analysis of a failed ammonia pump on the space station without the shuttle?

    How big is it? Will it fit on a Soyuz? If not, can you imagine human engineers could develop a larger version of the Soyuz?

    You cannot open up a pump containing (or, even if vented, that previously contained) poisonous fluid on the space station.

    Wait, why don't they have a sealed maintenance bay on the ISS? Maybe because the launch costs are so high? Maybe because it wouldn't fit in a shuttle? All of Skylab was lifted by one (1) rocket.

    Thus, you need to bring it back to Earth. What is the only vehicle can do this? hmm? ... crickets... Yes, the space shuttle.

    Right, so in a world where only the Shuttle got built, only the Shuttle is available for materials returns. That's simply begging the question [nizkor.org].

    For those that want a car analogy, the ISS operating without the space shuttle would be like throwing out the entire contents of your car's engine bay in your car when something goes wrong, and ordering a new one for replacement (that may or may not develop the sa

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