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NASA Space Science

NASA Sets Dates For Space Shuttle Finale 56

coondoggie writes "After some debate, NASA today said it has set the final two launch dates for its venerable space shuttles: Nov. 1 for space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission, and Feb. 26, 2011, for the liftoff of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission. NASA said the dates needed to be adjusted because critical payload hardware for STS-133 will not be ready in time to support the planned Sept. 16 launch."
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NASA Sets Dates For Space Shuttle Finale

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  • Lost (Score:5, Funny)

    by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:26PM (#32760884)

    I sure hope NASA does a better job with their finale, then the producers of Lost did with theirs.

    • If absolutely nothing happened when the countdown hit zero, it would be a tie. Anything else at all would be a win.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sharkey ( 16670 )
      Hopefully better than the Sopranos too. It's not good when the shuttle signal sudd
  • by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:27PM (#32760892)

    This certainly looks like it's a big experiment

    Let's hope the last minute changes only make it better.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:27PM (#32760900)

    Also there is 1 more at the end of that? the back up shuttle will go up at the end with a light crew?.

  • Uhh.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:31PM (#32761002)

    It's fine if they want to have a grand finale, but I still think it's safer to just fly the thing back down to earth in one piece.

  • by ATestR ( 1060586 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:38PM (#32761124) Homepage

    When I first read the title "... Space Shuttle Finale", I thought imagined that they intended to set the two remaining shuttles up at the same time, and then on reentry cause them to come down together in a massive game of chicken.

  • Sadness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:38PM (#32761138) Homepage

    It will be sad to see the fleet retired...nothing quite like watching the shuttle take off. It's quite possibly the loudest thing you will ever hear on Earth.

    • by Leebert ( 1694 ) *

      I have been to quite a few shuttle launches. (Benefits of working for NASA)

      I have been to a couple of drag races with top fuel dragsters. (Benefits of having redneck friends)

      There is no comparison. Granted, at equal distances the shuttle will be far, far louder.

      • I have been to a couple of drag races with top fuel dragsters. (Benefits of having redneck friends)

        Hmm...there seems to be significant contextual variance in the meaning of the phrase "friends with benefits." ;-)

        Note to self: /. != CL (though they are equal in the limit)

        Granted, at equal distances the shuttle will be far, far louder.

        You mean I can get a starting line pass for the shuttle? Cool! (Or rather, hot, very hot!)

        Since you brought up the two, how would you compare the experience of a shuttle launch to the launch of a top fuel dragster or funny car? I've never been to a shuttle launch (mostly because the trip from ~Ames to KSC was too painful given t

        • by Leebert ( 1694 ) *

          Well... The top fuel is one of those intense, short duration experiences... You feel it in your chest, your eardrums bottom out, but it's short-lived. (as you know)

          The shuttle is interesting. It seems to vary a good bit based on things such as weather. I'm certain it varies based on distance, I watch it from the Kennedy Space Center causeway, which is about 6 miles or so from the launch tower.

          The sound at that distance isn't particularly loud, it seems to peak in the 106ish db range. But it feels more

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      The SR-71s I saw taking off were a LOT louder than the shuttles I watched take off. I'm sure the shuttle is louder at the same distance, but I was a lot closer to the SR71s, so for me the SR71 was the loudest noise I ever heard, even though I saw quite a few shuttle launches close up*.

      Those SR71s were amazing, they'd taxi down the runway, do a wheelie, and disappear. They looked like bottle rockets, as opposed to the Shuttle's slow rise.

      * I lived in Orlando from 1980 to 1985, and when it took off and we wer

  • ...we are Russia's Bitch!

  • yo dawg, heard you like space elevators so i put a space elevator in your space elevator and elevated it into space.

  • I'm planning on going to see the last shuttle launch. I've never seen one before.

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      It's really worth it, I saw the one in April and it was amazing. There were tons of people there in April, I imagine the last one will be a zoo, but you won't regret it.

    • You and every other geek. I'm still kicking myself for not dropping everything and attending the May launch, after two schedule push-backs so far.

      • by b0bby ( 201198 )

        I just realized that I'll be in Orlando the week of the last one anyway - I might just have to go try to see it again.

  • Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:45PM (#32761300)
    I'm sad to see this in my time. I always hoped we would be pushing farther out into space, not ending our involvement in it in my life time. I really hope this isn't the end of the USA as a space faring country.
    • It's over (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After Space X's Falcon 9 blew up taking half of Florida with it and costing a billion dollars at that we'll never get back to space. Our only hope is spending another 9 billion and five more years with Ares. Only NASA and it's bloated contractor costs can truly open space for all. It's too bad we gave commercial space flight the monopoly on space flight back in the 60s. Only if NASA had led the way for the last 50 years we'd be at Mars already. Total Recall would've been a documentary.

      Truly, we are doomed.

      • What the hell are you talking about? Falcon 9 never blew up, its quite successful. Ares is cancelled and good riddance. The future is with commercial space flight ventures like Virgin and Space X.

        • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

          We need to move forward, not backward.

          - Dan.
        • I said the end of USA involvement I don't equate companies and corporations with the USA and I'm surprised so many other seem to.
          • Man, and all this time I thought the USA was a leader in high-tech silicon production, but it turns out the USA isn't making any microprocessors at all.

            Now I'm depressed!

          • Where do you think companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin get their money for space projects from? Lots of it comes directly from the US government, more from NASA contracts, DARPA etc. Just because NASA is reducing their own programs doesn't mean the US is out of involvement in or funding of space.

        • You should have figured out that he was joking. After all, ARES only costing $9Billion, that's got to be a tip off.
  • In his April speech outlining NASA's future, President Obama said there would be $3.1 billion for the development of a new heavy lift rocket to fly manned and unmanned spaceflights into deep space. Obama said he wanted this technologically advanced rocket to be designed and ready to build by 2015

    Funny. I always thought "deep space" was like "other star systems". So I looked it up.

    One definition: any region of outer space beyond the system of the earth and moon []

    And another: space beyond the limits of the sol []

    • Apparently, the $3.1 billion is to be used for DemocRATic political campaigns, and the heavy lift is to be generated from the hot air thusly generated.

  • makes me nostalgic. a long time ago this was seen as a shining beacon of capitalist supremacy first, and a scientific marvel second. Buran came and went, but the shuttle endured. the cosmodrome practically paid for itself on a global stage with satellites from near and far and even from the very same country it once locked horns with, and the shuttle still remained. shuttle missions brought new technologies, new achievements, and some of the most spectacular tragedies science has ever been privilege to
    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      >shining beacon of capitalist supremacy first, and a scientific marvel second. Buran came and went, but the shuttle endured. And yet the Soyuz continues to fly for more than 40 years! Add another comment from some slashdotter: "Obama and his socialists comrades want to turn over US human spaceflight to private enterprise."
  • All we need to do is boost Canadarm [] to the level required to operate a giant slingshot to send spacecrafts into space. That's still better than a cannon!

  • Hurray! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thue ( 121682 ) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:19PM (#32761948) Homepage

    The space shuttle was an incredibly overpriced way of launching cargo and people into low orbit.

    Perhaps now the money that was overpaid for transport will be better spent on actual science.

    And if NASA buys launches from private firms, then NASA can help kick-start an efficient private launch industry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons ( 302214 )

      And if NASA buys launches from private firms, then NASA can help kick-start an efficient private launch industry.

      NASA has been buying launchers and launches from private firms since roughly .002 seconds after NASA was founded, and if you'll look around you'll notice a distinct lack of an 'efficient' private launch industry. (Assuming that by 'efficient' you actually mean to say 'cheap'.) Adding a handful of flights per year to that total won't chnage much.

      And really, when it comes to government co

  • by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:18AM (#32771500)
    So 2 days after i book a £600 holiday to florida to watch sts-133 on september the 16th, they postpone the launch till november 1st. Why couldn't they do this last week? AAAAAARRRRRGGHH.
  • OK, I definitely know all the arguments and feelings about Rush Limbaugh, but seriously, please take a look at what he pointed out today:

    He contends that NASA isn't moving the dates because of equipment issues, but to help protect the sea turtle hatchlings. Seriously!

    There are efforts to move thousands of sea turtle eggs from gulf coastal waters affected by the BP spill to a location "somewhere near Cape Canaveral []". There are also "lighting bans" in effect for many coastal areas to help prevent disrupting t

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