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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

End of an Era...

Space shuttle Discovery makes final flight to museum
(Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery made its final voyage on Tuesday: a piggyback jet ride to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia.

The United States retired its space shuttles last year after finishing construction of the $100 billion International Space Station, a project of 15 countries, to begin work on a new generation of spaceships that can carry astronauts to destinations beyond the station's 240-mile-high (384-km-high) orbit.
Stretch was kind enough to provide a picture:

Last ride

Space exploration is now in the hands of the Russians, Chinese, and private industry - I don't know if we should be afraid or encouraged...

That is all.

10 comments:

Alan said...

Be encouraged. The shuttle was a boondoggle that kept private enterprise out of space for 30+ years. (That was its job)

Now that it's gone and NASA has no alternative or the means to pay for one private enterprises can finally step in and open up space access for everyone.

Robb Allen said...

Speaking of advancements in technology, Jay are you aware that there's software available to resize images for thumbnails?

Really!

Dave H said...

I wouldn't say space exploration is in the hands of private industry, because there's no profit in it. They'll be happy selling rides to space, at least until someone discovers another way to make a buck out there.

I think exploration, like defense and public infrastructure, is a proper use of public money. But I also think NASA (at least the manned spaceflight division) needs to be torn down and a new space agency built. There's too much of the old bureaucracy built into the current agency.

Jay G said...

The *one* time I don't resize...

Old NFO said...

And the Russians are charging us out the ass...

CoolChange©© said...

NFO - As they should. As I would if I was in the business. Their turn. We lost the race from yawning. Don't mistake my words. I wish we were still in it.

Glenn B said...

If space exploration actually winds up being conducted by private industry that would be great. Private Industry would be sure to find some way to make it profitable even if at first it just becomes the Disneyverse. You can bet that industrialists will look to make a profit from more than tourists and the government would be their most important customer in that it would pay for missile defense systems and for communication systems and ultimately for any resources brought back from other planets.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ritchie said...

Look Jimmy, a new National Lawn Ornament!

Weer'd Beard said...

I'm with Alan. So long as the .gov doesn't get bitchy and demand that NOBODY goes into space from American Soil, this will be NOTHING but good for space.

And yes, private industry WILL find a way to make a buck.

We KNOW people will pay to go to the top of the sky, as well as make a few laps in orbit...we KNOW when available people will pay to add their footprints to the moon.

And that's just the start

Anonymous said...

Yes private industry might get you a night or two at the Holiday Inn Express Apogee and some quick rides up or down.

A quick check give the current cost to travel round trip to Mars at $55 billion.

To Mars or the Moon? Governmental money trough. I'm betting on the Chicoms.

Gerry