Near End Of Program Marked By Shuttle Launch Of Atlantis
One of the last remaining shuttle launches flew Friday. The countdown for the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis has started. You will find only two more shuttle launches that have to go off. Space shuttles Discovery and Endeavor will conduct their final missions to complete the International Space Station before the aging fleet of spacecraft is retired for good. A battle between old school astronauts and also the new generation has been sparked by the end of space shuttle launch countdowns.
NASA plan by Obama
President Obama’s NASA plan involves shuttle launches being a part of the past. Commercial enterprises to take over the lead from the government is the direction the program is going. Those who walked on the moon say doom for US spaceflight with Obama’s NASA plan. Adventurous billionaires are looking forward to a future for space exploration. What's a lot more, the U.S. government is broke and getting a huge cash loan</a> for dealing with an economic meltdown and fighting two wars. For the present, earthbound initiatives are a priority.
Billions go up in fire and smoke
The shuttle launch was probably the most spectacular aspect of an expensive, very complex program. The technology is more than 30 years old. If you ask most engineers, they're amazed that only two space shuttles met with disaster in 25 years. According to NASA, the space shuttle Endeavor, built to replace the space shuttle Challenger, which disintegrated reentering the atmosphere in 2003, cost about $ 1.7 billion. The average cost to launch a space shuttle, not such as the rest of its mission, is about $ 450 million.
Obama and also the NASA funding
Obama’s NASA funding shows that there is a new way of thinking about the future of spaceflight. The Obama administration cancelled George w. Bush's Constellation program, which aimed to get astronauts back to the moon by 2020. Reuters reports that an independent review found the $ 108 billion Constellation program was underfunded quite a bit, with no hope of reaching its goal without a $ 6 billion a year increase in NASA's $ 18 billion annual spending budget. Instead, Obama NASA funding pushes a public/private technology development initiative for an eventual international mission to Mars.
Old schoolers oppose Obama NASA plan
With shuttle launch countdowns winding down, politicians from Florida, Texas and Alabama -- which have thousands of jobs tied to the space program -- have been crying foul about the president's plan. The New York Times reports that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the last man that was on the moon, read the president the riot act before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Tuesday. The 80-year-old Armstrong said to the committee: "I don't believe that would be in our best interests". Also, Mr. Cernan testified on Wednesday. He told the senators the space program was on a "slide to mediocrity" and "third-rate stature".
Obama NASA funding reaped by new
Younger space entrepreneurs are anxious about the end of the shuttle launch. Obama is also pledging $ 6 billion for private companies that want to build their own spaceships. PayPal founder Elon Musk has founded SpaceX and plans to fly astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of 2013. SpaceX plans to charge NASA about $ 20 million per astronaut–which is a huge bargain in contrast to a lot more than $ 300 million a head it was going to cost NASA under the Bush plan, plus NASA will pay Russia $ 56 million for trips on Soyuz rockets in the meantime.
Shuttle launch on Friday
The shuttle launch today sends Atlantis on a 12-day mission to deliver a Russian-built addition to the space station that will provide some storage space, and a new docking port for the Russian spacecraft which will continue to service the station. As reported on eWeek, 3 spacewalks are prepared to stage spare components outside the station, including six spare batteries, an antenna and spare parts for the robotic arm.
New York Times reports
As reported on eWeek