Space Shuttle

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Republibot 4.0's picture

We like to complain about all the things Washington, DC does wrong, but there's one thing that it gets very, very right--the Smithsonian Institution.  This past week, my wife and I took two visiting friends to the National Air and Space Museum, and a splendid time was had by all.  The highlight of the trip, for me, was to stand beside the retired Space Shuttle Discovery. 

But the Shuttle wasn't the only magnificent flying machine on display.  In fact, there was a mind-boggling collection of gliders, planes, rockets, satellites, helicopters, engines, models, and assorted detritus that just about everyone can find something to pique their interest.

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CHEAP SPACE: How To Make A Home-Made Space Shuttle

Republibot 4.0's picture

Since NASA's budget keeps getting slashed, they may want to take a cue from the guys at BBC's Top Gear TV show, and try a bit of recycling for the next phase of their reusable orbiter program.

 

We can only hope that their version would work a little better...

 

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Why it was Inappropriate for NASA to name a Space Shuttle "Enterprise."

Republibot 3.0's picture

Since last week's piece on how the Shuttles got their names, I've taken some flack (Mostly through Email) about whether or not it was inappropriate for NASA to name a shuttle after the Starship Enterprise. Most of this has revolved around two points: 1) It wasn't a real shuttle anyway, just a glider, so who cares? and 2) Trek has inspired people to become scientists and astronauts and blah blah blah blah. Here's my take on both of those:

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REALSPACE: So how did the shuttles get their names?

Republibot 3.0's picture

I'll be the first to admit this is fairly trivial, but since we no longer have a manned space program, and we don't have any plans for one, and we're grounded for at least a decade, and the Russians and Chinese have moved ahead of us in the space race, what else have we got to do but talk about trivia?

Something we've never really talked about is how the Shuttles got their names. I mean, we all know they're named after seagoing exploratory vessels, (Somewhat pretentiously since the shuttles clearly aren't exploring, nor were they intended to), but how did they end up with that convention?

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REALSPACE: Senate Committee OK's NASA authorization bill

neorandomizer's picture

In a bipartisan unanimous vote the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has approved a new NASA budget and space plan. If this bill passes a Senate and House vote it will set the future for US space efforts.

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REALSPACE: UPDATE Falcon 9 Launched Dragon in orbit

neorandomizer's picture

Today the launch of the Falcon 9 was aborted at t minus 2 seconds. The count has been recycled to t minus 15 minutes. SpaceX has the ability to do a fast recycle and launch which happen with one of the Falcon One test flight's.

Update the Falcon 9 launched at 2:45pm EDT and the mock up Dragon capsule is in orbit.

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