NASA has released its final manifest for space shuttle launches before the fleet retires in 2010. This year will see, as previously announced, Atlantis' STS-125 mission to service Hubble (8 October), and Endeavour's STS-126 to the ISS (10 November). Five flights are planned for 2009, kicking off with Discovery (STS-119 …
John Cale - Helen of Troy
"They will deliver to the ISS Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, deliver maintenance and assembly hardware and "critical spare components", respectively" - that last one sounds like a euphemism. I bet the last shuttle mission will be filled with crisps, bottles of fizzy drink, party poppers, and a giant cake from which a topless Erika Eleniak will emerge (weightless).
I'd love to see a shuttle launch
Maybe I should plan a trip to Florida before the amazing machine goes the way of Concorde and the Vulcan (yes I'm aware that the Vulcan is returning to flight).
Is it easy to get a view of a shuttle launch?
"Aries, Orin and Dragon" that should be
From 2010 to 2015 SpaceX are contracted to supply NASA with orbiter vehicles for ISS freight using their Dragon and Pegasus[1|9|9Heavy] vehicles.
I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society last week where Elon Musk (started paypal. is a geek, likes rockets, started a space exploration company called SpaceX) talked the audience through the state of the art and answered some _very_ in-depth questions about the design decisions of the Dragon and Pegasus platforms, as well as mentioning that his company has got the tender to replace the space shuttle between 2010 and 2015.
I'd recommend you all check out the RAeS if you like the techie side of space. They put on free evening lectures quite often, all of which are open to all and some of the topics are fascinating ("Developing Hypersonic Single-Stage To Orbit Jet Engines" and "What is needed to permanently sustain life beyond earth?") were the last two I attended.
@ Ashley Pomeroy
Arrrgh, you've just described Under Siege 3. Please God, lets hope there are no Hollywood types reading.
@Anonymously Deflowered - Shuttle Launch
Yes, it's pretty easy to see a shuttle launch. If you can get a ticket then you can get to within a few miles of the event. Even without a ticket you can get a half decent view.
I saw one in 1997 and have to say it's still the most spectacular thing I've ever seen.
@Anon Deflowered - Shuttle Launches
The Shuttle can be seen from Kissimmee / Orlando / Disney, as a trail of smoke. It still gets a few people looking at it. You'll be able to get trips to Kennedy Space Centre from that area. IIRC KSC closes during launches, but then the trips become trips to Titusville / Indian River for a launch (These are just outside the Cape Canaveral area.about 10 -15 miles from the launch pad. Astronauts families are 8 miles from the pads, Launch control is about 12 miles from the pads). If you have your own car out there you can take your chances with the other 900000000000000000000 cars all desperate for a look. The coach trips have the advantage of being trips to bars, with nice observation areas, big tellies, pretty scenery, and 6 pint pitchers of alcohol flavoured wee, umm I mean beer.
"My" Launch got cancelled at T minus 10 minutes, and was held at T- 20 for 3 or 4 hours. But I saw a shuttle on the pad with all the trimmings. Take a good pair of binoculars: You don't want to be looking at Pad 39A when the launch is from 39B, or vice versa :-)
It's a fantastic atmosphere.
Yes, the trick is to show up early and hope they don't postpone due to the weather.
Lots of info here: http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/shuttle/guide.txt
Yes it's easy to get a good view of the shuttle launch.
You can see it from pretty much anywhere within a 50 mile radius, but best public area views are from the Cocoa Beach/Titusville area where you are around 10 miles from the launch pads.
It used to be possible to get tickets to get onto the Space Center and get a bus to about 5 miles from the launch site, but I don't know if that's still possible.
It's a truely impressive experience, best done from as close as possible, and I would strongly recommend it.
re: I'd love to see a shuttle launch
Yeah, there are places you can go to watch and get a good view. My parents took my brother and I for the first launch in 1981. Alas, it was delayed and we missed it by a day :( I would have loved to have seen the first and last launches.
Almost akin to a concert from the band 'disaster Area'. The optimum balance is 10 miles away.
Once the shuttle is high up in the sky you will feel the rumble ... It's not a matter of hearing the noise of the engines ... you literally feel it... all of the 37 million horsepower of the main engines + the 44 million horsepower in the boosters ...
Go see it while you can.
I saw it from here in Fernandina Beach like 150 miles north.
Not a very good view though. I'm gonna come back to Florida in the future to get a good look up close.
I guess I need new glasses
I read the headline as "NASA firms up space shuttle launch manfest" which doesn't fit the image of NASA as I know it.
Personally, I prefer the idea of a weightless Erika Eleniak.
There's some info at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/view/index.html
...what will they do with the shuttles when they finally go into retirement?
I hope I can score one and renovate it as the ultimate geeky US home. Now how do I transport the whole friggin' thing to the house site...?
I hope they haven't read Stephen Baxter...
...who wrote that DARPA would snatch up the retired Orbiters to use as anti-sat / hypersonic target practice. I really hope not, but so far 'Titan' has run pretty much to script.
I wanted desperately to see a Shuttle launch, but I don't think I can drag myself back to the USA, not after the last time I tried to transit LA with and committed the 'crime' of having 'too many' Chinese visas in my passport - FAIL.
Black Helicopters, because they're getting them ready to nick the Shuttles from the Smithsonian...
Please see my previous enquiry relating to future procurement of your Space Shuttle fleet,
i am now requiring an answer with utmost urgency as i have a warehouse of black orchids which desperately need transporting to my off-site facility.
p.s. In response to your other enquiry from your agent:
No, I expect you to die, Mr Bond
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