Friday, July 8, 2011

The last shuttle

I just watched the last space shuttle launch - Atlantis.  And you know, I watched the first one take flight too.  The first one was named Enterprise.  Being a big Star Trek fan, I was very excited about that name.  That shuttle never got to go into space, but it bore a historic name and launched the program.  I was there too when the shuttle with the teacher on it blew up in flight.  I was working for an attorney then, there in the office, listening to the radio.  It was with stunned amazement that I told Mr. Thomas that the shuttle had blown up.  But they regrouped and kept on going.

It’s been a wonderful time, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching those big birds blast off into space.  They are an awesome sight.  We have made great progress on the international space station since the  first shuttle took flight.  Back then there wasn’t much to the space station.  But over the years it has grown.

So today I began to wonder what was next?  Nasa has no vehicle, that I know of, ready to use.  Well the internet is a wonderful thing for the curious like me.  So here is what I found, on Nasa’s own website:

And now it would seem that Nasa is turning it’s thoughts to Mars.  We have been to the moon.  We have built, and are using, and will continue to use the international space station.  But now Nasa wants to build a vehicle to explore the solar system.  And that is understandable.  So now we will sit back and wait for the next phase of the Nasa space program to take flight.

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