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Old 07-05-11, 04:29 PM   #1
bigbenaugust 
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Space Shuttle depression?

Am I the only one here who feels a certain sense of loss at the very last Space Shuttle launch-- ever-- currently sheduled for the end of the week? As an American child of the late 70's, I had a Space Shuttle poster in my room for a long time as a kid. I never made it to a launch, but I have been to the unused Shuttle pad at Vandenberg (Saw it a bunch of times on the train as a student at Cal Poly, and I had the pleasure of visiting it back in my aerospace days) and managed to read the entire site planning document and history for that facility (on paid time!).

I know, I know... it's expensive, and blah blah blah [insert P&R material here]. But no Space Shuttle? None of this action?



I did buy my toddler a toy Space Shuttle... but it will never be the same. I will dig up my LEGO one and bring it to work.

Translation for the Canadians: One Canadarm has been installed on the Space Station. The rest will likely end up in museums.
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Old 07-05-11, 04:39 PM   #2
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You are not alone. As someone born in 1960, who grew up watching Star Trek, Lost in Space and other classics, I had an interest in space starting at age 7. The interest has only grown over the years. I see the passing of the Shuttle with sadness, and wonder what we could build with today's technology, had we the political will.
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Old 07-05-11, 04:41 PM   #3
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Very sad indeed. I'm going through separation anxiety myself. I have the NASA channel and have the last two launches and some of the spacewalks (including the last Hubble repair) saved on the DVR. I wish there was an easy way to transfer those.
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Old 07-05-11, 05:10 PM   #4
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Withdraw all your savings,tie it to a big bottle rocket,shoot it into space.
See if that gets you off
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Old 07-05-11, 05:45 PM   #5
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I miss the Apollo program a lot more. The shuttle program has been kind of commonplace for the past several years.
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Old 07-05-11, 06:40 PM   #6
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It's hard to picture any more manned flight. I mean, inertia being what it is, they have let it stop, and sure they'll have some taxi rides from Kazakhstan to the ISS until they pull the budget plug on that one, it's just hard to see them truly starting again. And yeah that is sad.

On the other hand, maybe next vehicle will have code expand to fill a cd instead a couple lines of text to operate it.

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Old 07-05-11, 10:03 PM   #7
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... and the US of the 2010s takes a few more steps towards becoming the UK of the 1950s or so.
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Old 07-06-11, 08:15 AM   #8
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I think humans have a natural instinct to see what is over the next ridge or follow a water source to it's origin. Curiosity leads to exploration. We have now ended our manned exploration of space. Hopefully, it is only a temporary delay.

A few years back, I had the opportunity to attend a shuttle launch. At the southeast end of the shuttle landing strip, I was standing on top of the gantry that is used to load/unload the shuttle from the back of the 747 transporter. This sits behind the launch bunker and is about as close as you can get during the launch and it was spectacular. Mostly it was loud with a significant low frequency rumble. Skies were clear and even 70 miles downrange you could still see the small dot of hot blue exhaust gas. Very cool.
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Old 07-06-11, 08:17 AM   #9
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Maybe Foo can build a shuttle. Word and x can pilot it.
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Old 07-06-11, 10:26 AM   #10
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The Space Shuttle never lived up to it's promise. The "reusable space plane" of the 70s turned out to expensive and dangerous. Unmanned rockets are better at launching satellites. The Space Station is a budget killer. Manned exploration of space serves no purpose other than ego.

Born in '61, I grew up with the space program. I will never forget seeing the moon landing on TV in a campground under the same bright moon. The Space Shuttle launches of the 80s were turning into stunts designed to curry political favor and keep NASA's budget full. Jake Garn, Christa McCaullife, John Glenn? Get serious.

I hope we continue to explore space, but design a realistic system. Leave ego and national pride out of it.
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Old 07-06-11, 11:18 AM   #11
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The Space Shuttle never lived up to it's promise. The "reusable space plane" of the 70s turned out to expensive and dangerous. Unmanned rockets are better at launching satellites. The Space Station is a budget killer. Manned exploration of space serves no purpose other than ego.

Born in '61, I grew up with the space program. I will never forget seeing the moon landing on TV in a campground under the same bright moon. The Space Shuttle launches of the 80s were turning into stunts designed to curry political favor and keep NASA's budget full. Jake Garn, Christa McCaullife, John Glenn? Get serious.

I hope we continue to explore space, but design a realistic system. Leave ego and national pride out of it.
I will not argue any of this. It's all true. Anything that fails once in 50 tries needs to be dumped.

... I didn't say this was rational.
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Old 07-06-11, 12:18 PM   #12
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I wonder how the people who trained hard for years to become an astronaut feel. I'm sure they probably feel some depression.
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Old 07-06-11, 12:26 PM   #13
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I am excited because once we stop shooting stuff into space, the aliens will be more comfortable coming down to meet us.
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Old 07-06-11, 12:29 PM   #14
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I've been in FL most of my life so it's been part of growing up here over the years. Even in Tampa we can see the vapor trail go up if the weather is right. I remember watching Challenger go up on that fateful day and thinking that vapor trail doesn't look right.

I was working on Patrick A.F.B. in the early 80's when this man walks up in an odd uniform. It was a different colored flight suit when everyone else was wearing green. I was working on the PX and he asked a couple of questions about what I was selling and walked away. I noticed his name badge said "Crippen" so I asked someone what uniform was that. "Oh...he's in the space program" they answered. It took me a few minutes to put it all together. It was Robert Crippen first space shuttle pilot.

The only up close launch I've seen was a couple of years ago during a vacation on Cocoa Beach. Many of the locals came to the beach and setup picnics to watch. There were lots of American flags and cheers when it took off. I'm a pretty cynical person, but it still made my hair stand up on the back on my neck. Even miles away it makes a pretty good roar and there was a light shock wave traveling down the beach. There aren't too many "space ports" in the world and I have one in my own backyard.

Yeah it was expensive and dangerous, but Iíll still miss it.
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Old 07-06-11, 01:00 PM   #15
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There is nothing like watching a space launch in person... this is quite possibly the only thing I learned during my time at Vandenberg. I used to look up the launch schedule, stand out on my balcony in Santa Maria, and watch.
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Old 07-06-11, 04:07 PM   #16
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There is nothing like watching a space launch in person... this is quite possibly the only thing I learned during my time at Vandenberg. I used to look up the launch schedule, stand out on my balcony in Santa Maria, and watch.
I've been watching them the last few years on a live streaming webcam from the NASA site. My previous boss loved anything that had to do with space and these online viewings were great as we'd have both our speakers turned up at work watching them. It would have been amazing to see it live. Also interesting was when the shuttle landed - not only from the from the ground, but from the shuttle's camera - plus the computer tracking. I shall miss these events.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:35 PM   #17
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Manned exploration of space serves no purpose other than ego.

Are any relation to King John II of Portugal?
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Old 07-07-11, 12:09 PM   #18
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The Space Shuttle never lived up to it's promise.
In some ways, it exceeded its promise.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/s...ttle-program/0

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The "reusable space plane" of the 70s turned out to expensive and dangerous. Unmanned rockets are better at launching satellites. The Space Station is a budget killer. Manned exploration of space serves no purpose other than ego.
Yep. I guess those missions to repair Hubble, and other satellites served no purpose other than ego.

Too dangerous? How many deaths per man-mission have the other programs experienced? I'd say the Shuttle is about as safe as any manned space program.

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Born in '61, I grew up with the space program. I will never forget seeing the moon landing on TV in a campground under the same bright moon. The Space Shuttle launches of the 80s were turning into stunts designed to curry political favor and keep NASA's budget full. Jake Garn, Christa McCaullife, John Glenn? Get serious.
OK. I'll agree here. It was becoming a PR vehicle for procuring funding.

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I hope we continue to explore space, but design a realistic system. Leave ego and national pride out of it.
I'm not sure a "realistic system" would be better than the current Shuttle. Any "realistic system" would be much more focused to a particular mission or application, and not offer anywhere NEAR the flexibility of the Shuttle. The Shuttle was basically a space pickup truck that got used in ways beyond what it was designed for. IF it gets replaced, it will be with the equivalent of a space Prius.
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Old 07-10-11, 10:52 PM   #19
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I think SpaceX will be getting going soon: http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php (fingers crossed).
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Old 07-10-11, 11:07 PM   #20
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Maybe Foo can build a shuttle. Word and x can pilot it.
"OK X...light the fuse. The mission: destroy the unholiness that is jsharr's basement."
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Old 07-12-11, 10:12 AM   #21
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It's sad that it'll be gone. Especially without a replacement in place. Be nice if they could be a bit more budget conscious but there is still a part of me that has the childlike awe at "we've gone to the moon!" and stuff. My wife and I were talking about what if we had had the opportunity to go up. She wouldn't have because of safety, but I would have jumped at the chance without thinking twice no matter what.
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