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back to article Atlantis bows out with Kennedy touchdown

Space shuttle Atlantis wrapped its 32nd and final mission today when it touched down at Kennedy Space Center at 12:48 GMT. Atlantis landing today. Pic: NASA TV The venerable vehicle's final day in space began to the wake-up call of Muse's Supermassive Black Hole, played in honour of commander Ken Ham, who led the successful STS …

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Unhappy

A sad day for exploration

I fondly hope that at least one of the shuttles is kept intact as a monument to one of the most reliable and iconic symbols of space flight.

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Dead Vulture

Re: A sad day.... ;Then your in luck

Well I guess we'll always have the Enterprise in the National Air & Space Museum in Virginia (i.e. Dulles VA.)

Rest in Peace 'ol friend.

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Reliable?

I wouldn't exactly call any space launch system reliable:

Space Shuttle:

131 missions with 2 total losses

14 people killed

Most recent death in 2003

Soyuz:

105 missions with 1 total loss, 1 life support fuckup leading to death of crew (capsule re-entered and landed normally)

4 people killed

Most recent death in 1971

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Re A sad day for exploration

All three are on offer to various museums. No final decision on where they go yet.

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D**m I feel old

This is making me depressed. Flew into Paris last month, saw the Concorde on its podium, and now this. I remember the first Shuttle flight, remember the tragedies (you know how you can picture exactly where you were when you got shocking news?), now seeing the last landing....

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Bronze badge

Know what you feel...

Seeing the British Concord(e) take off on it's maiden flight from Bristol, piloted by Brian Trubshaw.

Later, seeing the shuttle (Endeavour? - never made it to space) flying on the back of a Jumbo - in Warwick, UK, of all places.

Wonder what our children - or our children's children will experience? I kinda envy them. We won't see it.

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Silver badge
Boffin

@Andus

Endeavour made it into space, it's Enterprise you're thinking of. It was in the UK in the early eighties I think? Not sure why but have seen photos of it landing at Stansted before (on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft).

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Thumb Up

Thanks for the correction. You're right.

I remember seeing the thing on the back of the Shuttle Carrier, hitting 00 on the company intercom (i.e. calling every speaker) and screaming that they could see the shuttle from the front window, if quick.

The rush was audible. Surprised the building didn't fall over.

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I hope

that one of the museums manages to get the whole deal - fuel tank and solid-rocket boosters (suitably cleaned out, of course!), and display it as it was ready for launch, rather than just sat on the ground. It takes off as a rocket and lands as an aircraft, I'd rather it was displayed as the former, to be honest. Of course, that would need a much bigger house :)

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Silver badge

Hmm.. could be worse

"The venerable vehicle's final day in space began to the wake-up call of Muse's Supermassive Black Hole,"

They'd have been a bit worried if they'd woken up to an *actual* supermassive black hole I s'pose..

Still, welcome back, if only for the last time!

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Unhappy

Are we the lucky generation...

...We've seen manned space flight, we've seen supersonic passenger flight. Some of us, a little older than I, will also remember the manned moon landings. We might have experienced them for ourselves, but we've seen them. I saw Concorde once, next ot the 747 I'd just got off. The difference in the two was amazing.

What will then next generation get? Facebook2?

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Gold badge

Atlantis.

Here is hoping that she is laid to rest in a good and proper home; well taken care of and shown the utmost of respect. She has served us well, may she now rest in peace.

Goodbye, old friend.

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How To Wreck A Space Program

Take a thousand promises and a ridiculous amount of money and then deliver on about a quarter of the promises. We were sold a vehicle with a two week turn around between missions. We got six months. Inexpensive cost to orbit? Saturn V is still the cheapest launch vehicle ever per unit of weight.

The only thing that shuttle could do that something else couldn't do better was to bring large payloads DOWN from orbit. Well maybe it also showed us how good Saturn and Apollo really were.

In an honest assessment the shuttle program has been like swimming in lead boots.

The first vacation day I ever took from work was to go the Edwards AFB for the first shuttle landing. I just got my 30 year service pin from the same job. In four more years I will qualify for retirement. We've wasted a whole generation of time making that pig fly.

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