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NASA Science

Space Shuttle Atlantis Last Night In Space Orbit 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-an-era dept.
techtribune writes "Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day for the crew aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis as they begin their return home to Earth. This will be the last space shuttle re-entry, the last landing, and the very last crew to pilot the shuttle in U.S. history. The Atlantis Space Shuttle undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after delivering a lot of supplies, batteries, and other hardware to the station. They are bringing a lot of trash and everything else that needs to be brought back to Earth, as it's the very last opportunity for NASA to do so on its own." In a related topic, MarkWhittington wrote in with a story about why we stopped going to the moon and why there are no plans to go back.
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Last Night In Space Orbit

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  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @04:56PM (#36828266)

    There was no reason to go back.

    With the technologies available in the 1960s all the research done on the lunar samples and from orbit showed the Moon to be a dead, worthless rock in space.

    The Mercury program was about increasing heavy lift to Low-Earth Orbit, the Gemini program was about working and maneuvering in Low-Earth Orbit while Apollo was about getting very large loads into Low-Earth Orbit and to the Moon.

    Of all those programs, Gemini is the one we should have continued, an affordable and maneuverable system that could stay up for two weeks, more of a sports car in space while the Soyuz is a remote controlled car.

    The current collapsed of NASA's manned space flight program isn't the fault of Bush, or Obama, it's the fault of NASA, since Challenger failed NASA has screwed up every attempt to make a successor to Shuttle. The day Scaled Composites flew to space, NASA should have sunk a billion dollars (one shuttle flight) into Scaled Composites to build an orbital space craft. But NASA didn't just like NASA never got a super-heavy lift rocket off the ground despite Congress telling them to in 1987 or NASA balling up two shuttle replacement programs in the 1990s.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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