an end of one of the most exciting, progressive and high achievement era....
WATCH LIVE: NASA to launch final shuttle at 11:30 ET | The Raw Story (external - login to view)
They should have had work at least started on the shuttles replacement. Here is a article written in 2004, they could have moved technology ahead a little since then.
And now 9,000+ people are looking for work. (over 300,000 if you count sub contractors)
The Space Shuttle and Its Replacement (external - login to view)
The Shuttle program didn't deliver on its expectations. It was supposed to be a cost efficient means to move cargo but it wasn't cheap or very good at it. Much of the transport was stuff just to sustain the needs of the astronauts.
What imminent demand is there for manned missions? When the first Shuttle went up they debated doing it unmanned. Just about everything is controlled from the ground anyway.
It gave us the Space Station,
Private biz does not do space exploration because it is extremely expensive, dangerous, with little reward. It is pure research and biz doesn't do that. Only govt does.
What biz does is space tourism, a happy fun time where you see the lovely blue-green planet and the blackness of space. You get to tell your friends what a blast it was floating in your hotel suite for a few days. All costing about half a million bucks. No one dies here.
What is needed is a moon base, the biggest construction project the world has ever seen. We have the tech to get there and back and it might achieve the political objective making the world work together for a greater goal-explorations and settlement of the solar system. But then I think, if this tech is old, maybe biz will pursue it, but corporations don't potentially work together like nations might.
yes, private business plays it too safe. Where did something as basic as cordless drills come from? The space program. That is because astronauts on spacewalks needed to work and the cord was a hinderance. Voila, a fantastic new invention.
To me, living on the moon would create so many more inventions because a new environment would create so many new ideas for new things that currently can be fathomed in a world with gravity.to live for weeks or months on the moon would be a massive stimulus for new tech.
http://www.level10realtyblog.com/blo...space-program/ (external - login to view)
The shuttle is the wrong vehicle for where the space program is going, the shuttle is a flying bus that basically is a taxi for the ISS. Going forward, the goal is further lunar and eventually asteroid and eventual mars landings, what the shuttle cannot do. The premise is that private industry will take over the taxi routes and NASA will concentrate on the far orbit goals.