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NASA’s Last Shuttle Voyage Lifts Off

July 8, 2011 by  

NASA’s Last Shuttle Voyage Lifts Off

For what will be the last time, a space shuttle lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 11:29 a.m. today. Atlantis, carrying four astronauts, is conducting the 135th and final shuttle mission, in which it will deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The shuttle is scheduled to return on June 20.

The Associated Press reported that it will be several years, at least three but possibly five or more, until astronauts launch from United States soil again.

“The shuttle is always going to be a reflection of what a great nation can do when it dares to be bold and commits to follow through,” Commander Christopher Ferguson said before taking flight, addressing NASA launch director Mike Leinbach, according to the AP. “We’re not ending the journey today… we’re completing a chapter of a journey that will never end.”

The Commander added: “Let’s light this fire one more time, Mike, and witness this great nation at its best.”

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  • Doc Sarvis

    Not returning until June 20th. That is a LONG mission!

    • Raggs

      WOW.. do you have to ask something like that.. it is funny though.

  • Raggs

    It’s the final mission until the next one.

  • Michael J.

    Another unfolding chapter of Obama’s adventures in mediocracy. A transfer of exceptionalism to the Russians. Our Astronauts are now forced to become space-faring hitch-hikers in Obama’s war on American leadership. The exploration of space and the technology derived from this prestigous endeavor marks the divide between us and third world countries, the thought of which, probably gives Obama a woody more so than a weekend on Fire Island spent with Larry Sinclair and an eight ball.

    How will we repair/replace our military defensive satelites in the event they are attacked? And, could not a foreign enemy leave us blind and deaf by taking out our space-born communications and ISP network? Or is this part of the plan to render us defenseless and therefore vulnerable to outside forces?

    • SiliconDoc

      Bi-Obammy wants NASA spending on global warming just like rest of our American retards.
      Diverting huge chunks of military preparedness to running about and cleaning up global warming disasters is also key for the fems in charge now.
      Expect it to only get worse.

    • s c

      Interesting comments, Michael J. All it took to cancel the space program was 40+ years of social engineering (via public schools), full-scale dumbing-down of at least two generations of Americans, the wholesale selling of political integrity on both sides of the aisle, hordes of university professors who contributed little or nothing toward keeping America great and a community of Chicago (union) thugs and the implosion of Haavid.
      For my money, I’d rather see half of our social engineering programs and ALL of Washington’s political welfare system that lets politicians get rich and let it be flushed down the nearest toilet (along with those politicians).

  • granny mae

    We will not be defenceless but if it were left to Obama we would be. We can still launch rockets but not the shuttle. If something went wrong with a satelite we have the means to destroy it and can still launch another to replace it. These programs are funded under the military, not the Space program and can be handled by them if necessary… What most people don’t understand though is that this highly hinders all operations from all space ports across the nation. If this doesn’t show up on the unemployment stats. I would surely like to know why. This is putting enough people out of work that amounts to the population of several cities ! The Kennedy Space Center was a city all of its own. And because of it’s shut down most of the buildings on the center will become non-usable in a short period of time. There are so many things out there that most people can’t even imagine exist. All the goings on out there were supported by outside venders, such as food venders and limosine venders, maintainence venders, chemical supplyers and so on. These venues were large enough to support a small city and that is only the tip of the iceburg. Now add to that the space centers in Texas and Huntsville Alabama, White Sands New Mexico, and the space port in California and all the venders connected with them and all the small companies locally around them that support the manufacture of products that go dirrectly into the shuttles for launch into space it is almost unfathomable ! This is a lot of jobs effected by Obamas decission to junk the space program. One can only surmize that he is doing this on purpose for some reason other than funding. This is going to effect other huge companies such a Raytheon, Boeing and gosh I can’t even think of all the companies connected with the Space Program. These companies will begin to lay-off too because they won’t need so many employees.. Do ou think Obama can creat enough jobs to replace those lost in just this one act of his? He is sending money to Brazil and putting our military in other countries that are at war and that takes billions of dollars to support and is costing us lives of our young people, and he can’t fund the Space Program ! He has suceeded in delivering a devastating blow to the security of this country with the stroke of his pen and he either doesn’t realize it our he doesn’t care. Sorry folks but I believe it is the later. I think it is all part of his plan and if someone doesn’t wise up soon and do someting about it, there will soon be nothing we can do about it ! He is destroying this country from the inside out ! Lord Help us !

  • pete

    So what is going to replace the Space Shuttle ? I reckon we are gonna’ need something new….

    What is really stupid about the Space Shuttle program is they never did a flyby of the moon. They should do a flyby of the moon, like Apollo 8 did back in 1968.

    Once I make some money, I’m going to get some real good welding equipment, and maybe a CNC machine or two – build my own rockets and launch my own probes into space. That sure will be mucho fun … They got those space ports in the Mojave and in Texas. If i ever get rich, I’m moving from CT and start building …

    • granny mae

      pete,

      At this point in time there will be nothing to replace the shuttle ! Now why in the world should we do a fly-by of the moon we have already done that and even went to the moon so they know what that is all about ! If you remember the space shuttle is a space truck ! Its purpose was to transport cargo to and from the space station !
      It did that and was never intended to fly around the moon ! There was another shuttlelike, space craft, that was intended for deeper space exploration but that has now most likely been scraped too. All the money that went into that is also lost by this stupid decision. By the way you are not the first to decide to go into the private space business. In fact you are years late in that idea. There are several out there but nothing to compete with NASA ! Also if you ever do get into the space business, please take the first trip to the moon and then maybe you could even build yourself a house there and that would put your stupid mind to rest for the rest of us !

      • pete

        granny mae,

        I reckon that Space Shuttle could fly around the Moon and back – I hear it can stay in Space for 3 weeks …

        • granny mae

          pete,

          Yes it can and it can also do much more but I take offence at the tone of your comments. The loss of this program is one of the most serious we have had to deal with and when you live in and around the area you come to understand just how serious it really is. We really shouldn’t make fun or lite of it at all. This country is in serious trouble and the deliberate loss of added jobs is going to speed things up and prolong the misery of hundreds of thousands of people all across this country. I don’t expect people in Ct. to fully understand the workings of the space program, you are not around it but I would expect you to understand the impact of the loss of jobs and the impact that has on families and the states that have to find a way to help these people when these states are goin broke ! If you don’t produce something you cannot sustain an economy and the loss of the Space Program is a major blow to our economy. One that at this time we surly did not need ! I have lived and worked in and around the space program i one way or another for 30 years and I have seen ups and downs. Some pretty bad downs I might add, but this time is a disaster comperable to Katrina ! Only multiply that times the number of space centers there are in theis country and you have a disaster of epic porportions ! If you still have a job that is wonderful and I pray that you can continue to work, the last thing we need is more people on unemployment. But please have some compassion for those that have just lost theirs and will probably loose everything they have and most of those I suspect have not prepared for this in any way. I do not know how the states invloved are going to be able to suport the unemployment roles or the food stamp roles with the financial shape they are in. Many newly elected governors have had to make the hard decissions to close this program or that program or refuse to start another program all to the disdain of john q public. They have demonstrated and called these people names and made hateful slams and remarks when all the time they are doing what they said they would do or even what they have to do to save the state. People on these programs are in deep trouble and we all know it but to be honest with you there simply is nothing else that can be done. People with jobs need to take a long hard look at what is happening and realize it could happen to you tomorrow so plan to help yourself with at least the basics if nothing more. How would you shelter your family or feed your famiy if this happened to you. If you were faced with eating or driving your car which would you choose? Which would you have to choose? How can you pare back now to maybe help yourself or your family in the near future ? Maybe you don’t have children but you probably have mother and father or sisters and brothers or even elderly family members. Would you let them starve or freeze in the winter because they couldn’t afford fuel for heat ? It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to see to it that we do what ever we can to help our families. If nothing more than to keep preaching to them the importance of getting prepared. Some have no way of preparing. Elderly most times live on a very limited income and have no way to prepare. Are you prepared to take your elderly parent or grandparent into your home to help them survive? Some will but many won’t. From everything I have been reading lately we are in for a real disaster in the very near future and those that don’t see the signs are going to panic . If we can just get to tem soon enough we can avoid a lot of that panic. I imagine you were probably just trying to make lite of a bad situation but it didn’t help. Please have some compassion because this is much bigger than you can imagine. The town I use to live in is nearly a ghost town and will be a ghost town soon. To see the number of homes that are empty is the ost freightening thing I have seen in a long time. I read today something I hadn’t heard before and that is there are shanty towns springing up across this country. That is not a joke by any means. These are people that have children and babies and they have no place to go nor food to eat. Some of these people were your neighbors just a few months ago and today they are grubbing and begging for something to eat. Are you prepared to give someone a sandwich or a cup of soup; and when it gets really cold weather then what? Who will keep the babies from freezing to death or the parents from freezing to death and leaving their children alone to fend for themselves and then die ! Things are really getting that bad my friend so we must wake up and try to do everything we can now instead of making fun of bad situations ! I hope you have taken the things you have heard and learned from this web sight to prepare for the things coming in the near future. I hope that everyone reading this will take it seriously enough to immediately put aside some long term food supplies because you are going to need them . Put aside what ever you can that you can ake into a pot of soup or stew, if not for yourself then for someone else in dire need ! It doesn’t take much to keep someone from starving to death. A piece of bread and a cup of soup and a vitamine and you have saved a life ! I have no infants in my immediately family at this time but I have bought a couple cans of powdered formula just in case there is someone in need of it. Not more than a year ago I sent three cans to a priest in the Sudan. At first he didn’t know what to do with it so he just put it aside. In about two months he knew what to do with it. A young man came to him with a sad story that his wife had just had a baby and it was about to die because she got mastitus and couldn’t feed the baby. The priest brought out the cans of formula and read the dirrections on the cans and told the young man what to do with it and he went home and they fed the baby with a spoon a drop at a time and the baby survived and the disaster was averted praise God. You never know when such a thing will be needed by someone and incase you didn’t know it you can use this formula just like powdered milk and it is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It can be used just like ou would use any milk in cooking so if you bought a couple cans you can always use it your self. Any way, enough of this we will save that for another blog. Just start getting prepared and do not poke fun at serious situations happening in this country today.

        • pete

          I would prefer moving to a planet outside our solar system that can support life….

          I’m hoping Jesus created a few more planets that are similar to Earth .. preferably Earth before Noah’s Flood ….

  • http://certus-certusblogspot.com RAYMOND HARBIN

    THESE GOVERNMENTAL SPACE EFFORTS ARE SO UNIQUE THAT IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE THE SYSTEM SHUT DOWN. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE SPENT AN AWFUL LOT OF TAXPAYERS MONEY WITHOUT LEARNING ANYTHING ABOUT SOLVING A SINGLE PARTICLE OF WORLD HUNGER, UNEMPLOYMENT, DISEASE OR PAIN ABATEMENT OR ANY OTHER DEFINITIVE GOOD FOR THE HUMAN RACE THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS HAS SQUEEZED US IN A CRACK WHEREIN THE ONLY “GOOD” WE CAN SERIOUSLY EXPECT IS SATISFACTION OF THE NARROW CURIOSITY OF A FEW SINGULARLY CURIOUS INDIVIDUALS. THE COST VERSUS YIELD EQUATION IS PATENTLY UNFAIR FOR THE STRUGGLING AMERICAN TAXPAYERS. THIS GAME IS A RICH MAN’S GAME, AND OUR REPUBLIC IS FAR FROM A RICH MAN CURRENTLY.

    NOR CAN WE AFFORD TO PAY THE DEDICATED WORKERS TO DO NOTHING– WE ARE IN FAR WORSE SHAPE TODAY FOR BAILING OUT DERELICT BANKERS, UNIONS WHICH HAD SPENT THEIR MEMBERS PENSIONS ON RADICAL POLITICIANS–IN A WORD– THIS NATION MUST BITE A NUMBER OF BULLETS, OR PERISH AS AN ECONOMY, AND THIS BULLET SEEMS MUCH SOFTER TO ME THAN THE ELDERLY’S SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS– I DON’T MEAN TO SOUND HARD HEARTED, BUT THE NASA UNEMPLOYED ARE NO LESS CAPABLE OF DEALING WITH HARD TIMES, THAN THE 15,000,000 WHO HAVE SUFFERED FOR SEVERAL YEARS ALREADY.

    • pete

      Mr. Harbin,

      Those Nasa workers could probably get jobs in Asia or other countries depending on their experience. Them countries want to build their own space programs/aerospace industry …

      Nasa sure gathered much info on living in Space. All we need now is someone to come out with a better/cheaper propulsion system. What I’m trying to say is “better” and “cheaper” in a business sense. I’m sure their is many alternate propulsion systems that have the potential .. but you need the business like practicality, some type of propulsion system that can be mass produced cheaply on an assembly line – using predominantly factory robotics.

      Here in the US, the #1 aerospace nation, we have to much customised manufacturing in the aerospace industry. We build our aerospace products like the old Stanley Steamer car people built cars. We got to make these products like Henry Ford made his cars, plus add a bunch of manufacturing robotics to increase the quality and cut labor cost ….

      • http://certus-certusblogspot.com RAYMOND HARBIN

        PETE, AS A PRIVATE, NON-TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED COMPANY, I’M ALL FOR IT.

        THERE ARE VERY FEW CUTS THAT ARE WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL PAIN TO SOMEONE.
        OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN SENDING OUT CHECKS, FAR EXCEEDING OUR BANK BALANCE, FOR SO LONG THAT THE ENTIRE WASHINGTON CROWD NO LONGER RECOGNIZES A DIRE CRISIS FOR THIS NATION. MOREOVER, MUCH OF THE WORLD WILL GO DOWN AS A RESULT OF OUR FALL. (BUT QUITE HONESTLY I LOSE LITTLE SLEEP OVER SOCIALIST REGIMES “THAT HAVE RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.”

        I FEEL THAT IF A MODERATE NUMBER OF MR. AND MRS. ORDINARY AMERICANS COULD CONCEIVE OF OUR VERY TENUOUS POSITION, SOME WOULD SAY,”CUT SOME OF MY FEDERAL CHECKS–I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN A MORTALLY WOUNDED WORLD– I’M NOT RICH BUT FEEL AS THOUGH MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL BE PUNISHED AND POVERTY STRICKEN, BECAUSE OF OUR STUPIDITY AND GREED!” ARE THE SOUP LINES BEING SET UP?

    • granny mae

      Boy,
      More talk of things you have no clue of. pete, you seem to have a big interrest in space exploration and I only wish you would have come to Fla. and taken a job in the space program. You would have a greater understanding of what you are trying to talk about. Same with you Raymond. First the space program has been responsible for so many modern inovatios that you make use of every day and take for granted and you don’t even know where it came from. To mention just two simple ones it would be the calculater that most people use almost every day. A dirrect result of the space program; another is all this long term food storage and military MRE’s. developed for the space program and became a major developement for use in the military. Our soldiers now have much better food to eat than they did in the second world war and Korean conflict and probably even the Viet Nam war. Those are just two of the inventions from the space program not to mention computers and electronic equipment and so on. As for building things for the space program on an assembly line bases; well nice try but the needs of the space program are highly unique and needed in a small amount. You don’t need thousands of rocket motors for the shuttle, nor even hatch doors or seats for the inside. These are in the range on nearly one of a kind products and they become obsulete in a very short time. Unless you were in a program where you had people launching daily for missions in space you have no need for mass production ! I really wish you folks could have come to even visit the space center at least once and you woud have a much better understanding what the space program was all about. That program was not a waste by any means. The products developed in that program range from food to material for clothing, to medicine, to knowledge of the needs of the human body to effects of solar flares on the earth and people in space and so on. I’m afraid your knowledge of the space program is very limited !

      • granny mae

        Another thing, expecting people from the space program to get jobs in other countries is unreal. We are talking of numbers like 15 to 20,000 people of all walks of life. Not just a handfull of scientists. We are talking about a small city here not just a few people. Multiply that like I said before by 4 or 5 centers and you have numbers unthought of and then you have all the mission support people in surrounding towns and you can begin to see what we are talking about. Not only that but you also have support bases all around the globe. Don’t limit your scope of understanding to your immediate surroundings. This is a big country and an even bigger world !

        • pete

          Granny Mae,

          I don’t know what I said to get you so upset. I’m not any authority on nothing, except maybe flipping hamburgers !! HA HA !! I’ve been unemployed since 2006 – I’m out of “dough” too !!!!

          I’m just giving my “priceless” advice — it’s so “priceless” it ain’t worth anything !

          I got to agree with much of what you said in your comments … I guess the jest of it is once these Hi Tech communities of Space Technologists, scientist, and engineers disappear – it’s going to be gone for another 100 years. It will take a generation or two just to rebuild these Hi Tech communities based around NASA …

          So I’m hitting 50 next year, that means I probably won’t be alive when (and if) the Hi Tech Space communities ever come back ….

          The masses of voters have spoken, and they are shutting you people down (and that’s wrong). They feel small around all of Hi Tech people and feel your out of control. You people don’t have their sanction to exist – or live the sort of lives you are living (according to the American voters) …

          Personally I feel they should raise the space budget to a $ 500 billion a year, we need a crash program to develop FTL and alternate propulsion systems. Just like the Manhattan project ….

          But those lame brain American voters don’t want that … Be mad at them, just don’t be mad at pete !

          But who gives a damn about the spoiled, Americans ? Other countries are working on FTL and alternate propulsion systems – and they are probably going to beat us.

          Once that breakthrough is made – it will be a whole new chapter in the history of Personal Liberty !

      • pete

        I’m serious about the mass production using Robotics/Mechatronics … Build it all like you build a car ….

      • http://certus-certusblogspot.com RAYMOND HARBIN

        GRANNY–THE COST VS. VALUE RECEIVED FOR ALL THOSE THING TO WHICH VERY NON-SPECIFICALLY ALLUDE ARE NOTHING ARE -ZERO IN A COMMON ECONOMIC ANALYSIS. VERY MUCH AS OBAMA THROWING BILLIONS FOR “JOB CREATION” SCHEMES, THAT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S OWN BEAN COUNTERS COSTED AS MUCH AS $250,000. TO $500,000+ FOR EACH JOB.

        THE THING THAT MANY SUGGEST WE CUT IS SOCIAL SECURITY– THE SOLE AND SINGULAR BENEFIT THAT SUCKED AWAY TRILLIONS FROM WORKER’S INCOMES–SOME PAYING FOR AS LONG AS 60 AND 70 YEARS–AND THEN THEY MUST PAY INCOME TAX ON THEIR OWN MONEY!! IF THIS WERE A PRIVATE CORPORATION, THE ENTIRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS WOULD SPEND MOST OF REST OF THEIR LIVES IN PRISON. PEOPLE WHO RETIRE ON SOCIAL SECURITY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH. IF TODAY’S MOST SUCCESSFUL ECONOMISTS ARE CORRECT– WITHIN THREE YEARS, THESE CURRENT FIXED-AMOUNT CHECKS WILL ALMOST DISAPPEAR BY GROSS INFLATION CAUSED BY WASHINGTON’S CEASELESS MONEY PRINTERS.I’M NOT AGAINST SPACE EXPLORATION– I SIMPLY DO NOT WANT IT DONE ON THE BACKS OF TAX PAYERS.

        THIS NATION HAS GONE ABOUT AS FAR AS IT CAN GO ON “FREE-BEES.”

        IF IT’S AS SUCCESSFUL AND INVENTIVE AS YOU SUGGEST THERE WILL BE NO PROBLEM IN GETTING FREE ENTERPRISE CAPITALISM TO “JUMP IN IT.”

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