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dmfalk

"Capt. Kirk" salutes Discovery!

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Star Trek and space fans will appreciate this. Courtesy NASA TV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8okqWukoaU

d.m.f.
Viewed: 12 times
Added: 7 years, 9 months ago
 
DOtter
7 years, 9 months ago
And so ends America's role in putting people into space. It's sad; I watched it start and now I've watched it end.
dmfalk
7 years, 9 months ago
There are still a couple more shuttle flights to go- That was just Discovery's last flight... But yeah, Kennedy's probably rolling in his grave for how we've squandered space exploration over the last 4 decades. :(

d.m.f.
DOtter
7 years, 9 months ago
So Endeavour and Atlantis still have one flight each. I wouldn't mind that so much -- they were past their prime and the system never was all that good, they couldn't even get the zero-gee toilet to work -- but there's nothing to replace it! NASA will be spending ten times as much as their own rockets cost to buy space on private company launches and leaning on Russia, ESA and so on if they want to get past Clarke orbit! I guess exploring the universe will depend on the rest of the world from now on.
dmfalk
7 years, 9 months ago
While unmanned exploration has been good (with the three best space telescopes ever built, all at this point aging-- Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra, the combination of which has produced outstanding results, both scientifically and in the sheer beauty of their pan-spectrum false-colour imagery), it isn't enough, and the US is painfully stagnant right now. It DOES NOT help that NASA is poorly funded (~$700 million annual budget, making it actually one of the SMALLER government agencies, in spite of being probably the most visible) and a general apathy for any space science-- Even the new game in town, extrasolar planetary discovery, is barely in the public consciousness. (The Mars rovers actually have a higher profile.)

While it's nice to see the everyday public get involved in manned spaceflight through private means, I fear commercialisation may result in an all-too-common practice: cutting corners and putting lives unnecessarily at risk. (I'm not against private endeavours, but I'd like to see a gradual public/private shift, rather than just leaving it to private industry, which hasn't gotten any real experience in manned spaceflight, yet.)

Depending on the Russian Soyuz system actually is cheaper right now-- $200+ million per shuttle flight vs. $60 million for hitching a ride... But still, it is relinquishing our role in space to the status of a has-been spacefaring nation. :(

It does bring great sadness. :(

d.m.f.
DOtter
7 years, 9 months ago
I'll give it this; private manned space is part of aerospace and thus should fall under FAA administration, (and similar in other countries.) The first time there's an accident, standards will start showing up to make sure it doesn't happen again. And the second time there's an accident, inspectors will start showing up to make sure the standards are enforced. (Pity it'll take two deaths, I hope neither is mine.) OTOH, you know those space corporations are going to try to somehow prevent any mandatory standards. Or any standards with teeth.
dmfalk
7 years, 9 months ago
As with many corporations in the US, sadly... :( If sports were allowed to play the same way corporates like to run their businesses, you'd hear the screams that there should be rules and rules enforcers real quickly.

That's what scares me about the wholesale privatisation of spaceflight. :(

d.m.f.
VideoNitekatt
7 years, 9 months ago
It is hard to believe that Shatner just turned 80!
dmfalk
7 years, 9 months ago
Well, he was 35 when he made Star Trek, and it's been 45 years since Star Trek first aired... Adds up to 80 to me. ;)

d.m.f.
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