Print 27 comment(s) - last by saganhill.. on Apr 2 at 10:07 AM

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: not going to happen...
By stromgald30 on 3/30/2012 2:09:08 AM , Rating: 2
This just goes to show how much perception rules the world these days. NASA's budget is cut or kept stagnant because we think keeping it low will save a significant amount of money.

Seriously, NASA's budget is 0.4% of the US government spending. Even if we completely eliminated NASA, it'd do nothing for the deficit.

In fact, the NASA spending bolsters the economy compared to the spending on wars, welfare, food aid to N. Korea, etc., which are just expenditures with no return.

RE: not going to happen...
By JediJeb on 3/30/2012 10:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
In fact, the NASA spending bolsters the economy compared to the spending on wars, welfare, food aid to N. Korea, etc., which are just expenditures with no return.

This is exactly what is killing our economy and budget. I would bet that half of those receiving welfare actually don't need it. That is about the right ratio when I look at the people I personally know that are on welfare. Half are just in a rough spot in life and it is helping them get a new start, the other half will be on it forever and if someone was to give them a job making $30k per year they would not show up at work enough to keep it. There used to be a stigma on receiving welfare, now receiving welfare seems to be a badge of honor which removed one reason for getting off of it as soon as possible.

Maybe a way to fund NASA is to require that certain people receiving welfare have to work for NASA before they can receive their checks. That would at least free up some of their budget for actual science work.

RE: not going to happen...
By delphinus100 on 3/31/2012 9:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Contrary to what some senators and representatives seem to think, NASA does not (and should not) exist to maximize its own employment...

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