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REALSPACE: Atlantis returns home and other space news.

neorandomizer's picture

The Shuttle Atlantis landed for possibly the last time yesterday at the Kennedy Space Center ending its 32 flight. Atlantis will now be readied as a rescue ship for Discovery’s flight in September. NASA is lobbing congress for one more flight of Atlantis is use the last external fuel tank and solid booster set.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts132/100526land/

The Air Force announced that the flight of the X-51 waverider was a success and that it broke all previous scramjet records.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1005/27waverider/

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The Fear of Space

neorandomizer's picture

The other day I found a movie on the web called ‘The Day the Sky Exploded,’ a French film made in 1958; one of many that shows a fear of man exploring space. This is not the fear of space that some people have like the fear of the ocean, which is a form of agoraphobia. No, I am speaking of the fear of the consequences of man exploring space.

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REALSPACE: Last Shuttle Flight Rescheduled

neorandomizer's picture

The last Space Shuttle flight has been rescheduled for November and with launches scheduled for May and September the 30 year history of the Shuttle ends with a rush to complete the ISS. Funds for the Shuttle program run out in December of this year so NASA is pressing to get the last three flights off the ground.

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REALSPACE: President Obama’s Bold New Vision For Space Is Pretty Much The Same As His Bold Lack Of Vision For Space

Republibot 3.0's picture

As everyone knows, the Space Shuttle program is being retired at the end of this year. As everyone probably knows (or at least should know), President Bush the Younger openly addressed the fact that America hasn’t really been doing anything significant in space in thirty or so years, and it was time for us to get off our butts and strive again. His dad, George Senior, attempted something similar, but was summarily slapped down by congress. George Junior, however, managed to get the program passed with a surprisingly solid bipartisan support.

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REALSPACE: America Turns It's Back On Space

Republibot 3.0's picture

There have been a number of huge space-related decisions starting with the Obama campaign, which have caused me a lot of concern, moments of anger, and some genuine disgust. Regular readers of our little blog here will know that I’m not a reactionary kind of guy. I don’t hate the other party simply because they’re the other party, I don’t generally attack them. I do occasionally tease ‘em and I’m pretty open in my confusion about their thought processes, which frequently seem self-contradictory to me. I’m not that guy. I believe in America, I believe in the Two-Party system, I believe that the system is generally self-regulating, and if either side goes too far, the people will vote the extremists out of office.

That said, I don’t know what - aside from anger - to make of this:

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: Project Constellation

Republibot 3.0's picture

So how long does it take for a vision of tomorrow to evaporate like last night's dreams? Not long at all. Sometimes something as trivial as a president who's been unable to keep a single one of his campaign promises, and decides to randomly kill a progam so it looks like he's not a completey toothless, inefectual leader.

The bottm line, my friends, is that last month Project Constellation went from being The Future to being something no different than all those Popular Mechanics covers from the 1940s.

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REALSPACE: Obama’s Vision For Space Exploration. Haven't we seen this before?

Republibot 3.0's picture

One aspect of the President’s administration that mystifies me, and which I don’t think gets as much press as it really should is his opinion on the Space Program and/or NASA (Arguably, the two are not the same).

This is a mistake that our children will still be paying for thirty years from now.

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REALSPACE: Things Are Looking Really Bad For The Space Program

Republibot 3.0's picture

I’m not one to reflexively attack our president simply because he’s a Democrat. In fact, I’m not one to reflexively attack our president at all. Love him or hate him, he’s the president, after all, and deserving of our respect. And I’ll confess that while I flagrantly disagree with his economic policies, I am actually proud to have lived to see our first black president, which, let’s face it, is a huge step forward in the cultural evolution of our nation, the kind of thing that would have been unthinkable only twenty years ago. And he’s even surprised me on occasion.

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