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She went up with only a slight delay at the 31 second mark. The sensors lied about the launch structure not moving out of the way. After a minute or two everything was cleared and launch went off without a hitch.

Its sad that from now until 2025 we will be paying the Russians a small fortune to take out people into space. 60 million a head! I'd rather spend that money here to get private commercial space flight going. That money would be better used to keep people working in NASA employed rather than paying the Russians for taxi service.
 

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Sad day indeed. I grew up as a "space kid". Man was meant to explore. Taking these things out of survice without even a vision of a suitable replacement is just dumb.

Like John Glenn has said. The one of the big benifits of the space program was getting kids excited about science and technology. America needs that now more than ever. Jobs HERE.
 

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johnnie59 said:
Its sad that from now until 2025 we will be paying the Russians a small fortune to take out people into space. 60 million a head! I'd rather spend that money here to get private commercial space flight going.
I'd rather spend that money getting this country fuel independent or out of debt or off welfare or a 100 other things rather than go into space. Commercial space flight would be cool though but let Richard Branson pay for it.
 

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SpaceX isn't too far off from commerical flights, at least for un-manned missions. By the end of the year they are supposed to be docking with the ISS for cargo missions. They have already secured a number of contracts, both domestically and internationally. Its good to see an American company doing this.

It was sad to watch the launch of the last space shuttle though. Its the end of an era.
 

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Thank you NASA! The shuttle was a superb run! I truly hope this is just the beginning and not the end... Like I said, I hope.
 

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stusvend said:
johnnie59 said:
Its sad that from now until 2025 we will be paying the Russians a small fortune to take out people into space. 60 million a head! I'd rather spend that money here to get private commercial space flight going.
I'd rather spend that money getting this country fuel independent or out of debt or off welfare or a 100 other things rather than go into space. Commercial space flight would be cool though but let Richard Branson pay for it.
This is what I don't get, let's say that commercial companies do take over manned space flight and exploration. Well their biggest client will still be NASA and other government entities, ie. they will still be getting paid by the taxpayer.

Which seems little difference to me with how NASA has been operated for years. Most of the research, work and production done for NASA is already done by private firms. Take the Space Shuttle since it's the topic here. The main engines are made by Rocketdyne, the external fuel tank is made by Lockheed, the SRBs are made by ATK, the avioncs and navigation systems for the shuttle are all made by private firms, same goes for R & D, ever heard of Hercules, or Thiokol (now both gone), and that's barely scratching the surface.

It boggles my mind that at a time when the President and congress are howling about job creation and unemployment, and are willing to throw away Trillions of $$$ in so called stimulus (which at best create low skilled, low pay, temporary construction jobs). That they at the same time decimate NASA and kill the Constellation program, thus eliminating tens of thousands of highly skilled, high paying jobs. It hits hard where I grew up, which is in the neighborhood of ATK (formerly Thiokol) who built the Space Shuttle SRBs, and where they had been hard at work on R & D for Orion and the Constellation program till it was killed. In the last year several thousand people have been laid off from high paying jobs at ATK.

Right now you ask 10 different government people about the future plans and goals for manned space exploration (be it NASA or private) and you get 10 different answers. Right now we have no clearly defined goals or plans. The old adage holds true "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Read the article I posted by Armstrong, Cernan and Lovell. They say it well, and with much, much more clout then I carry.

Last word: I would much rather see my tax dollars going toward space exploration then TARP and bailouts of Wall Street firms, AIG, Banks, Automakers etc. Interesting tidbit, the entire 40 year shuttle program is estimated to cost us $196 Billion, which is only slightly more then just the AIG bailout at $182 Billion. (source) and peanuts compared to the $1.3 Trillion "stimulus". The Shuttle was a bargain compared to what we've spent on wars, welfare, bailouts etc. Which do you think was better bang for buck?
 

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Government needs to fund projects like this. Without nasa who knows where we would be technology wise. They developed:
-Water Reclamation
-Water/Air purification
-climate monitering
-Global positioning systems
-heart pump
-Lasik eye surgery
-Various vaccines
-high tech jobs
-new industries (hence future space exploration)
-WD-40
-Kevlar
-Lexan
-microchips
-solar panels

That's all a I can think of, I'm sure there are hundreds more. Government is cutting spending in so much that it will make the country stupid... and still broke. The USA used to be a leader in developing new technology, in arts, in athletics... I could see this all changing very very very quickly. It's not just the US, Canada too. I went into a brand new elementary school in our neighborhood to vote, the gym was about the size of a tennis court... Government cuts in all social, technology, and arts will eventually trickle down, and the country will be left with a pretty bleak future. They need to figure out how to fairly tax its citizens. Rich getting richer needs to stop. Rockets to space need to keep launching.
 
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