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NASA Transportation Science

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Journey 87

daveschroeder writes "After over 296 days in space, nearly 123 million miles traveled, Space Shuttle Endeavour (OV-105) is making its final journey — on the streets of Los Angeles. The last Space Shuttle to be built, the contract for Endeavour was awarded on July 31, 1987. Endeavour first launched on May 7, 1992 (video), launched for the last time on May 16, 2011 (video), and landed for the final time on June 1, 2011 (video). Endeavour then took to the skies aboard the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), completing the final ferry flight and the final flight of any kind in the Space Shuttle Program era with an aerial grand tour of southern California escorted by two NASA Dryden Flight Research Center F/A-18 aircraft on September 21, 2012 (video). This morning around 1:30AM Pacific Time, Endeavour began another journey, this one on the ground. All Space Shuttles have traveled via road from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA, to Edwards Air Force Base, but this time a Space Shuttle is taking to the streets of Los Angeles for the journey from Los Angeles International Airport to its final home at the California Science Center. Getting the shuttle through LA surface streets is a mammoth logistical challenge as it lumbers along at 2 mph to the cheers of onlookers. Watching Endeavour make the journey is a sight to be seen (pictures, video)! Thank you, Endeavour!" Slashdot's Principal Software Engineer Kaushik Acharya was on hand, with camera, and took some great pictures of the event.
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Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Journey

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  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:27PM (#41637701) Journal
    The purpose of the shuttles was never to improve a single human life. Thats is a fools game and you are a fool for trying to play it. The ultimate goal of the Space Program is an insurance policy against an extinction level event. If we waited until all humans were clothed, fed and sheltered, we would have never gotten off the ground.
  • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:51PM (#41637911)

    Nope. Ironcally nations that promise total fairness, equality and prosperity generally turn into total shitholes.

    Nations that stretch their horizions expand their frontier, and search for answers have massive opportunity and progress.

    What makes people more inspired, staring at the ground or looking at the stars?

  • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:51PM (#41637913)

    People always trash the space program in general. "What has it ever done for me?" The number one thing the shuttle program has given us is knowledge, about many things. It's pretty hard to quantify either the amount of knowledge we've gained or the value of it, or its subsequent impact on the rest of our lives. The shuttles in particular delivered many payloads to orbit, including several satellites and great observatories including Hubble, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. They also delivered the Galileo, Magellan, and Ulysses spacecraft to orbit to begin their missions. They also delivered components for Mir and the ISS. NASA also has a list of some technologies that resulted from the shuttle program here [].

    As far as money goes, and spending it wisely, over its 30-year run the shuttle program ended up costing us just under $200 billion in 2011 dollars, as well as 14 lives. That sounds like a lot of money. The current estimate of the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is between 3.2 and 4 trillion dollars, with over 4400 Americans killed and over 33,000 wounded in Iraq alone. Afghanistan has cost us another 2100 American lives, and those numbers don't even include non-Americans or civilians. In 2008 alone Bush proposed $190 billion for the wars, just under the total cost of the 30-year shuttle program. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the better investment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:07PM (#41638071)
    I'm not American, so reading this thread has suddenly given me a good insight into Pork Barrel Politics and why Americans seem to argue about things before doing anything, then do them in the most inefficient way possible. $190 billion? Shipping boosters a couple of thousands miles by road and barge? It all makes sense now.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie