View Full Version : Astronomy Final Space Shuttle launch

8th July 2011, 16:53
Did anyone else just watch the final US Space Shuttle Atlantis launch?

I just watched it on NASA TV. http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/

Sad to watch this knowing it is the final ever launch of the Space Shuttle. I still remember watching the very first ever Shuttle take off in the 70's and the subsequent take-offs over the years. Interest definitely fell away in the last years. It was always a huge event every time a launch took place in the 70's and 80's. I remember the whole family and friends all crowded around the TV watching them. But from the 90's I don't really remember the same enthusiasm and it just got a small mention on the evening news each time it took of or landed.

I definitely think the whole US space program has been a big missed opportunity though. With the progress made in the 70's and 80's for space travel we all thought that by they year 2000 we would be so much further ahead than we are now. Instead we are seeing the end of the same vehicle that has stayed in service for the last 30 years! And it's being decommissioned without any direct replacement being ready or even having left the drawing board yet. Mad.

Just think what the world could have achieved by now had every country worked together on space travel and missions into space? instead we still have countries trying to work on something independently, and third world emerging economies like India and China only recent launching their first rockets into space to try and prove their countries has evolved and is developing. Why replicate what was already achieved over 50 years ago? Instead they should all be working together in a world space program developing future space travel as a whole. We might actually see some progress into space then. Otherwise I can't see we will ever evolve further with space exploration and the goal of many decades to get a man to Mars.

9th July 2011, 08:12
This is going to rule: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/25/urthecast-to-stream-live-hd-footage-of-earth-from-iss-like-stic/

9th July 2011, 10:26
Now that is cool!

10th July 2011, 02:44
Unfortunately for the U.S. they will need to use that money elsewhere...but I agree, if all countries worked together, it would make much more of a difference

10th July 2011, 17:20

I'm a big fan of the space program and its a shame that its ending for the space shuttle :( I did hear that they wanted to sub-contract out the transportation service. I also have a first day stamp cover that went up on Challenger STS 8, for the nasa 25th anniversary 1983.

I agree that all the countries should be making a combined effort in the space program :gathering:

UrtheCast look and sounds great:)

11th July 2011, 09:48
All (the biggest) countries couldn't work together, the NASA space programs is probably has some secrets USA doesn't want to share, same thing goes for the Russians probably.
And even if they agreed, the natural human thing would happen - jealousy. Why do they get to shoot our shuttle? ;)

Oh, and why did people lost interest in space flights? These comics illustrate it perfectly:


... and...


It was a one-hit wonder really, yay, we reached the moon... now what? I wasn't born yet to be there when it happened live, so I care even less about it.
Yeah, I've seen it multiple times on movies but whatching the same thing over and over... meh.
Yeah, it's cool to watch earth from above, but the flight itself doesn't interest me at all. It became normal, like a drive in the car to work - nothing ecstatic about that. ;)

11th July 2011, 12:20
In a way this has many similarities to Commodore. They built the Amiga and sat on the technology for years, enjoying its popularity and success, but they realised too late that it had become dated and everything else had overtaken it.