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America's mighty space fleet is sent into retirement

As a self-described space nut, it's with great sadness that I look upon these images of the remaining members of the Space Shuttle fleet being picked apart and readied for their new homes in museums. The Atlantic has posted 35 breathtaking pictures of Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour.
Discovery will find a new home in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum while Endeavour will make its way to the California Space Center. Atlantis will be sent to the Kennedy Space Center.
The first orbital mission of the Space Shuttle fleet kicked off with Columbia on April 12, 1981. Space Shuttle Atlantis made its final flight into space on July 8, 2011 and landed safely on July 21, 2011. In total, there were 135 missions and two tragic accidents (first with Challenger in 1986 resulting in the loss of its crew, and later with the Columbia and its crew in 2003).
For now, you can hop on over to The Atlantic to see the best that America had to offer in the modern era of space travel:
Shuttle Endeavour (L) and Shutte Discovery (R) [Source: The Atlantic]
For those that still wish to reach beyond Earth's orbit, we can still look forward to NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) which will eventually take astronauts to Mars.

Source: The Atlantic

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RE: NASA & SpaceX
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2012 7:50:13 PM , Rating: 0
That's not entirely accurate. The foam worked for decades failure free and without incident to the Shuttle. What changed? Because of Bill Clinton and the radical Left's war on Freon by the EPA, NASA was forced to switch to a non-Freon based foam. A foam that was much worst in every way, and dangerous to the craft, and ultimately lead to a disaster and two other Shuttle flights being damaged by the foam. Which could also have been disastrous if not caught and repaired.

Radical environmentalist idiocy directly murdered an entire Shuttle crew representing billions of dollars worth of US taxpayer property. The ultimate cost of this disaster was priceless. Lives can't be replaced.

The potential damage to the ozone from freaking aerosol foam being used a few times a year? So small as to be immeasurable. Sure, maybe NASA could have stood up to their regulatory overlords and said "Screw you this foam sucks, we can't work with it, we're using the old stuff". But seeing as that's who directly funds them....yeeeeah, good luck with that.

Liberalism kills everything good in this world. Even the Space Shuttle and manned flight.

RE: NASA & SpaceX
By FaaR on 3/29/2012 8:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer, you really are a super loony.

Calling Clinton "radical left" is ludicrous enough in of itself (he's anything but, really - no mainstream US politicians are), but criticizing "the war" (lol wut?) on freon, which is a known and well documented environmental hazard of huge proportions... Jebus what have you been smoking, man?

RE: NASA & SpaceX
By Reclaimer77 on 3/30/2012 12:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
Huge proportions?

Let's have some common sense here please. You're talking about a rocket craft which puts millions of metric tons of pollutants directly into the atmosphere, and you're concerned about the aerosols used in the foam that seals the fuel tank for that rocket? Also weigh that against the human lives lost DIRECTLY from making that decision. And you ask what I'm smoking?

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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