The end of the Space Shuttle era

Atlantis is scheduled to launch on Nasa’s final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135, on Friday at 4.26pm [BST] to bring to an end the 30-year-long Space Shuttle era – weather permitting.  In fact, there’s currently only a 30% chance that the weather will be suitable for launch. 

While you’re waiting you can check out Nasa’s Space Shuttle Era website.  Or read the BBC’s Spaceman, Jonathan Amos, on one of the private companies taking over the role played by the Shuttle – Orbital Sciences Corporation.  And, if you still have some spare time left, NASAtelevision has a feature-length documentary, Space Shuttle, narrated by the one and only William Shatner.  Enjoy.

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  • abucs

    I wonder if the changing fiscal position of the US with its heavy debt burden will severely retard the next phase in US space exploration?

    Perhaps for the next couple of generations.

    Who will take up the slack? Obviously not Europe which has its own debt problems for the foreseeable future.