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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Shuttle Atlantis blasts into history

    Pictures: Shuttle Atlantis blasts into history
    Jul 9, 2011


    The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off July 8, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the final flight of the shuttle program.

    PHOTO: AFP

    CAPE CANAVERAL (Florida) - ATLANTIS and four astronauts thundered into orbit on Friday on Nasa's last space shuttle voyage, writing the final chapter in a 30-year story of dazzling triumphs, shattering tragedy and, ultimately, unfulfilled expectations.

    After some last-minute suspense over the weather and a piece of launch-pad equipment, Atlantis and its four astronauts blasted off practically on schedule at 11.29am (11.29pm Singapore time, 1529 GMT), pierced a shroud of clouds and settled flawlessly into orbit.

    The launch was viewed by a crowd estimated at close to one million, the size of the throng that watched the launch of the Apollo 11 lunar-landing mission in 1969. It was the 135th shuttle flight since the inaugural mission in 1981.

    'Let's light this fire one more time, Mike, and witness this great nation at its best,' Atlantis commander Christopher Ferguson told launch director Mike Leinbach just before lift-off. Atlantis' crew will dock with the International Space Station on Sunday, deliver a year's worth of critical supplies to the orbiting outpost, and bring the trash home. The shuttle is scheduled to land back on Earth on July 20 after 12 days in orbit, though the flight is likely to be extended to a 13th day.

    After Atlantis' return, it will be lights out for the shuttle programme. Thousands of workers will be laid off within days. The spaceship will become a museum piece like the two other surviving shuttles, Discovery and Endeavour.

    And Nasa will leave the business of building and flying rockets to private companies while it turns its attention to sending humans to an asteroid by about 2025 and Mars a decade after that. It will be at least three years - possibly five or more - before astronauts are launched again from US soil.


    Photo gallery
    Compiled By Priscilla Goi



    straitstimes.com

  2. #2
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    Interesting. I'm assuming that NASA/U.S. Govt will still be "calling the shots" amongst the private contractors. The space programs are everything [certainly the shuttle series] today - military, intel, communications, etc.

  3. #3
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    This is a bit of a sad day for me.

  4. #4
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    These fantastic spacecrafts have taken us for quite the incredible ride over the years, a definite milestone in space-travel, and a bit sad to see the last one go, in the near future it is all up to the Russians to keep the ISS going.

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    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by larvidchr
    in the near future it is all up to the Russians to keep the ISS going.
    indeed , and quite surprising that the Americans allowed this situation to occur ..........................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by larvidchr
    in the near future it is all up to the Russians to keep the ISS going.
    indeed , and quite surprising that the Americans allowed this situation to occur ..........................
    So true. One would think that the development of a replacement system would be done before the old system is decomissioned.

    I am not even sure the approach of private development of manned capacity will succeed, given the stringent safety requirements set by NASA. But I do hope.

    SpaceX looks good at the moment, having a lifter, the falcon9, and the dragon space craft with proven return to earth capabilities. What they are lacking is the certification for manned flights.

    I do feel nostalgic about the end of the Shuttle program even as I strongly believe the Shuttle should never have been developed, as it was quite obviously a failed concept pushed through for political reasons, the demand for reusability, no matter what the costs.

  7. #7
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    SpaceX is very commercial. You can see it in presentations like this one. Very smooth.



    But so far they have delivered on their promises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larvidchr View Post
    These fantastic spacecrafts have taken us for quite the incredible ride over the years, a definite milestone in space-travel, and a bit sad to see the last one go, in the near future it is all up to the Russians to keep the ISS going.
    Unfortunately, the transfer of wealth to the elite via taxation doesn't really allow for useless projects like this. They'd rather just divvy the cash up amongst themselves.

  9. #9
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    the transfer of wealth to the elite via taxation doesn't really allow for useless projects like this.
    pales into insignificance when stacked against what is wasted on a military

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    Pales into insignificance when stacked against what is wasted on hedge fund managers.


  11. #11
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    I for one shall miss it. So far ahead of its time and then we just stopped. How many generations of aircraft have been refitted. Nothing like it ever again. Sadly it never really worked as intended, and cost hundreds of times of what was expected.

    I remember coming very close to death in Pattaya because of one. My last holiday here I woke up hung over and went to find a BKK Post. Saw the headline of Challenger explosion and just went blank, walked out into the middle of beach road. Thank goodness it was like 25 or so years ago an traffic is not what it it now.


    Pretty cool looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    This is a bit of a sad day for me.
    Leave it to this current administration to kill this dream. They just don't understand it. Yes it is expensive. But you have to dream big and reach for the unthinkable or you will become just another tourist destination whose golden age is written about in the history books. De-funding NASA was a crime.
    ...otherwise known as the AngryBuddhist....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbt71fa
    Leave it to this current administration to kill this dream. They just don't understand it.
    What has that got to do with the current administration? Bush decided on the end of the Shuttle era, and rightly so.

    He also started, much too late, a replacement program. Considering it was just using existing components from the Shuttle program in a new and much better configuration, the replacement program was absurdly overpriced and way too long with its development schedule. Though I admit I liked the design even before it was approved by NASA. After some initial disappointment I came to the conclusion that Obama did the right thing killing it.

    If outfits like SpaceX succed as it seems at the moment they can, they will deliver similar capabilities at a small fraction of the price and only one or two years behind the original schedule. Even though I admit I really don't like the design, especially of the Falcon 9 heavy.

    The only problem with the current program by the Obama administration is that it was started many years too late. But it was one of the first moves of Obama.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gbt71fa
    Leave it to this current administration to kill this dream. They just don't understand it.
    What has that got to do with the current administration? Bush decided on the end of the Shuttle era, and rightly so.

    He also started, much too late, a replacement program. Considering it was just using existing components from the Shuttle program in a new and much better configuration, the replacement program was absurdly overpriced and way too long with its development schedule. Though I admit I liked the design even before it was approved by NASA. After some initial disappointment I came to the conclusion that Obama did the right thing killing it.

    If outfits like SpaceX succed as it seems at the moment they can, they will deliver similar capabilities at a small fraction of the price and only one or two years behind the original schedule. Even though I admit I really don't like the design, especially of the Falcon 9 heavy.

    The only problem with the current program by the Obama administration is that it was started many years too late. But it was one of the first moves of Obama.
    Wrong, Bush called for the end of the shuttle program but too be replaced by a newer more effective launch vehicle. Obama is the one who dramatically cut spending because, as he saw it, we should not be spending so much money on space when we so many problems on the ground. He just doesn't get it, how many decades now have we looked to the stars? That is what makes us different from say Islamist Fundamentalism who looks to the past as their golden age (even though they have warped it). The space program is a dream of a better future but in some people minds it is wrong to hold that aspiration because it is beyond us. They think you to know your limitations. I disagree.

  15. #15
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    In the early 1980's, I took the family to the cape to watch a night launch. It was truly amazing to watch night turn to day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbt71fa
    Wrong, Bush called for the end of the shuttle program but too be replaced by a newer more effective launch vehicle.
    Read my comment again.

    I always was and still am a great fan of space exploration. And I prefere an costefficient approach to one where companys just stuff their balance sheet.

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    first 80 and last 30 seconds,...............................

    starts its roll at 6:22




  18. #18
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    CBS has captured a time-lapse video of the Space Shuttle Atlantis docking to the International Space Station for the final time Sunday. The shuttle must perform a pitch-roll maneuver to dock


    Starts its roll at 2:02

    you're gonna have to double click on the youtube video to watch it



    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Pales into insignificance when stacked against what is wasted on hedge fund managers.
    Or banks generally.

    I eagerly await the Goldman Sachs launch vehicle which will, naturally, be too big to fail.

  20. #20
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    the space shuttle Atlantis was actually named after the RV Atlantis – a research vessel used from 1930 to 1966 by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to study marine life and the ocean floor. All of the shuttles have been named after historically important maritime research vessels. The two-masted sailing ship was named in honor of – you guessed it, the” lost city” of Atlantis.
    What does “Atlantis” mean? And why is the Space Shuttle Atlantis named after something underwater? | The Hot Word | Hot & Trending Words Daily Blog at Dictionary.com

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    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    from Nasa:

    After more than 30 years, the space shuttle era has come to a close. Space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-135 crew landed safely on runway 15 at 5:57 a.m. EDT at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida, ending a 13-day journey of more than five million miles. It was the final and 133rd landing in shuttle history. The STS-135 crew consisted of Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim.



  22. #22
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    Fortunately, the Thais are hard at work on a replacement:


  23. #23
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    Did the shuttle go into outer space ,or just far enough to qualify as space
    ie not very far ?

  24. #24
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    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?
    Keep dreaming guys.
    What a waste of money.
    What did the space shuttle program bring/achieve ?
    The money that was wasted could now bring the U.S. deficit back to zero.
    But then again....blow it in Iraq or in Space, whats the difference.
    Psssst, just don't tell the public. I mean the unemployed men begging in the streets of California.

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    I'm sad to see it go.

    And the amount it cost is just a fucking pittance compared to the amount spent on weapons and cannon fodder.

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