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Space & Astronomy

Atlantis prepares for final shuttle mission

By T.K. Randall
June 19, 2011 · Comment icon 18 comments



Image Credit: NASA
After 30 years of space shuttle launches next month will see the end of an era for manned space flight.
The launch of Atlantis will mark the end of the shuttle program and the beginning of a new era for which continued trips in to space will become a lot less certain. Much negativity has been levelled towards the decision to retire the shuttles, during the 50th anniversary of the US manned space program astronauts Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and Jim Lovell wrote an open letter stating "Nasa's human spaceflight programme is in substantial disarray with no clear-cut mission in the offing… After a half-century of remarkable progress, a coherent plan for maintaining America's leadership in space exploration is no longer apparent."
Next month the space shuttle Atlantis blasts off for its final mission. The Telegraph joined the crew preparing for what some fear is the 'funeral' of American space exploration.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (18)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Nuke_em 11 years ago
@ Waspie Damn! Now thats an insight, sorry for "BS" word, i now know much more. I thought originaly that NASA said they would end space shuttle program. So now going up there with Atlantis sounded weird to me. Now i've learned about this US senate approving the bill for one last mission. Well sorry and thanks that explains alot.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Alex01 11 years ago
so atlantis goes up right? I asume to remove the astronaughts from the station. otherwise how do they get back to earth? Our wonderful Russian friends will take care of the american "space flight" gap for a few years. The Soyuz program will take care of station resupply duties and crew change missions. ESA (European Space Agency) will collaborate with their ATVs (Automated Transfer Vehicles) lofted upon the Ariane rockets to hoal cargo to the ISS. Cheers.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
so atlantis goes up right? I asume to remove the astronaughts from the station. otherwise how do they get back to earth? Since november 2009 all ISS crews have been launched to, and returned from, the space station using Russian Soyuz craft. The shuttle crews, since that time, have simply been visitors. The last ISS crew member returned to Earth on board a shuttle was Nicole Stott on Atlantis' STS-129 mission.
Comment icon #12 Posted by REBEL 11 years ago
Forgive me. I fail to see the connection between the two, or the humor... Try not to look into it too much Mid.. Was listening to the radio about the carbon (CO2) emissions and the taxing on the amount we all so call produce into the atmosphere which is harming the environment, also massive effect it will have big business and small business passing it right back down to consumers blah blah. Then at that time i here the news story of the final flight of the space shuttle breaks out andat that time for some reason thought of the amount space shuttle launches produced with every flight, and went... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
AH OH looks like no one's exempt here... You are adding 1+1 and getting 3 here. There is no connection at all. The shuttle programme was ordered to be ended by President Bush as a result of the Columbia accident back in 2004.
Comment icon #14 Posted by REBEL 11 years ago
You are adding 1+1 and getting 3 here. There is no connection at all. The shuttle programme was ordered to be ended by President Bush as a result of the Columbia accident back in 2004. I realize it must be an emotional time for you but lighten up Waspie, your blowing my intended statement way out of propulsion proportion...
Comment icon #15 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
I realize it must be an emotional time for you but lighten up Waspie, your blowing my intended statement way out of propulsion proportion... If you are going to make factually incorrect "statements" you need to be able to accept that people will correct you and bring a little reality in to the subect. It's no good telling people to lighten up when it is you that's posting nonsense. If you don't like to be corrected then I suggest you do a bit more research before posting. Google is quite useful at times.
Comment icon #16 Posted by REBEL 11 years ago
If you are going to make factually incorrect "statements" you need to be able to accept that people will correct you and bring a little reality in to the subect. It's no good telling people to lighten up when it is you that's posting nonsense. If you don't like to be corrected then I suggest you do a bit more research before posting. Google is quite useful at times. Ok it was more of an expression of my ps (funny) thoughts @ a particular time than a statement which i had @ work of latest breaking news of it on radio, you knew what i meant by it. If my nonsense posting bothered you that much, y... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by REBEL 11 years ago
Saddest, some may say most frustrating part of all this, is the straight talking 'no nonsense statement' made only just last year by Obama... “The bottom line is, nobody is more committed to manned spaceflight, to 'human exploration of space' than I am,” - Barack Obama (2010) NY Times
Comment icon #18 Posted by 27vet 11 years ago
Last chance to participate in "Face in Space"! Check it out on the NASA website.


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