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All it is is a Saturn V/Shuttle hybrid. When are we gonna get the Enterprise or Millenium Falcon?

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All it is is a Saturn V/Shuttle hybrid. When are we gonna get the Enterprise or Millenium Falcon?

Why don't you ask your government when?

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Apollo astronauts to Congress: Bring back the space shuttles

The United States desperately needs a way to get its astronauts to space and back — and one solution could be taking NASA's space shuttle fleet out of retirement, famed moonwalkers Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan told Congress Thursday.

Without an independent way to launch astronauts into low-Earth orbit, the United States risks ceding its global leadership in space to other nations such as Russia and China, the former Apollo astronauts said. So developing that access should be a top priority for NASA and the country, with other space exploration goals and capabilities following naturally afterward.

...

But it might not be too late to press the shuttles back into action, said Armstrong, who was the first person ever to walk on the moon during NASA's historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in July 1969

"Proposals exist for continuing to fly the space shuttle under commercial contract," Armstrong wrote in testimony for today's hearing, which discussed NASA's human spaceflight operations. "Such proposals should be carefully evaluated prior to allowing them to be rendered 'not flightworthy' and their associated ground facilities to be destroyed."

At the moment, NASA is relying on Russian Soyuz vehicles to ferry its astronauts to and from the International Space Station. But the space agency wants private spaceflight companies to take over this taxi role by 2015 or so, and it's funding a handful of firms to develop their capabilities.

...

read more:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44631718/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.Tn0npex9nT4

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35 Years Ago: NASA Unveils First Space Shuttle, 'Enterprise'

On Sept. 17, 1976, NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise was rolled out of its assembly facility in Southern California and displayed before a crowd several thousand strong. Though Enterprise was a test vehicle that never reached space, its completion in some ways marked the true beginning of the space shuttle era.

Various dignitaries were on hand to mark the occasion, including many castmembers from the original "Star Trek" television series, which had debuted 10 years earlier (the 45th anniversary of "Star Trek" was last week). Their presence was appropriate, as the prototype shuttle took its name from the sleek starship commanded by the fictional Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

This had not always been so; the shuttle's original name was Constitution. But a massive write-in campaign by "Star Trek" fans urged President Gerald Ford to go with Enterprise, and he eventually acquiesced.

...

shuttleenterprisestartre.jpg

From left to right they are: NASA Administrator Dr. James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley, who portrayed Dr. "Bones" McCoy on the series; George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); series creator Gene Rodenberry; an unnamed NASA official; and, Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov).

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/17/35-years-ago-nasa-unveils-first-space-shuttle-enterprise/#ixzz1YpLVcrgP

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Apollo astronauts to Congress: Bring back the space shuttles

The United States desperately needs a way to get its astronauts to space and back — and one solution could be taking NASA's space shuttle fleet out of retirement, famed moonwalkers Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan told Congress Thursday.

Without an independent way to launch astronauts into low-Earth orbit, the United States risks ceding its global leadership in space to other nations such as Russia and China, the former Apollo astronauts said. So developing that access should be a top priority for NASA and the country, with other space exploration goals and capabilities following naturally afterward.

...

But it might not be too late to press the shuttles back into action, said Armstrong, who was the first person ever to walk on the moon during NASA's historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in July 1969

"Proposals exist for continuing to fly the space shuttle under commercial contract," Armstrong wrote in testimony for today's hearing, which discussed NASA's human spaceflight operations. "Such proposals should be carefully evaluated prior to allowing them to be rendered 'not flightworthy' and their associated ground facilities to be destroyed."

At the moment, NASA is relying on Russian Soyuz vehicles to ferry its astronauts to and from the International Space Station. But the space agency wants private spaceflight companies to take over this taxi role by 2015 or so, and it's funding a handful of firms to develop their capabilities.

...

read more:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44631718/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.Tn0npex9nT4

<_< Annoyingly they're crying about it now??? NASA had warned for over a decade that the private sector should be doing what is essentially commercial freight work! NASA's mandate is to explore space - which the Shuttle programme has delayed somewhat for thirty years. Flags should've been placed on Mars by now.

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Flags should've been placed on Mars by now.

Flags should've been on the sun by now, according to Ali G...

:P:rolleyes::lol:

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China Lab Launch Closes Gap on U.S. in ‘Crowded’ Space

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- China launched its first space laboratory module today in a step toward a manned station orbiting Earth, two months after the final shuttle mission halted the U.S.’s ability to put people into orbit.

The Tiangong-1 blasted off 9:16 p.m. local time tonight, according the official Xinhua News Agency. President Hu Jintao watched from the control center in Beijing and Premier Wen Jiabao was at the launch site in Jiuquan, Gansu province. The liftoff is part of a program that aims to put a man on the moon by 2020 and, together with high-speed trains, the Beijing Olympics and the world’s biggest nuclear-power expansion, serves as a marker for the nation’s emergence as a global power.

“China sees space as one of the things that will confirm ‘we’re now on a par with Western countries, we’ve entered the club,’” said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington who specializes in technology and security. “It’s prestige, it’s catching up with the West and it’s exploring ways to overcome the U.S. information advantage.”

Today’s launch will cement the country’s lead over emerging nations such as India, Iran and South Korea that are pumping money into matching rocket and docking technology pioneered by the Soviet Union and U.S. five decades ago. As China expands, the U.S. is scaling back on routine manned missions: President Barack Obama last year scrapped plans to return to the moon, setting a goal instead of making a “leap into the future” of deep-space travel.

The U.S. move away from “chokingly expensive” manned flight is a more sustainable model, said Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Still, with the shuttle grounded, the U.S. is reliant on Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station until commercial operators can fill the gap.

...

read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-29/china-lab-launch-closes-gap-on-u-s-in-crowded-space.html

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Back space taxis or pay more for Russian rides

(Reuters) - An extra year of buying rides for astronauts to the International Space Station will cost the United States $450 million -- money that would be better spent speeding development of private space taxis, NASA's deputy administrator said on Thursday.

With the retirement this summer of the space shuttles, the United States is dependent on Russia to fly astronauts to the space station, a $100 billion project by 16 nations that orbits about 225 miles (360 km) above Earth.

Russia charges more than $50 million per person for rides on its Soyuz capsules.

NASA so far has spent $388 million to bolster the development of passenger spaceships, with the goal of having one or more U.S. companies capable of providing flights to the space station by 2016.

The U.S. space agency is backing space taxi development by four firms, including Boeing Co (BA.N).

The Obama Administration is requesting $850 million for the program for the fiscal year that began Oct 1. Bills pending in the House and Senate cut that to $312 million and $500 million, respectively.

Without full funding in 2012, the United States' ability to stop buying rides from Russia in 2016 is at risk, NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, under way in Las Cruces, New Mexico, this week.

"One additional year of buying this service from the Russians will cost the United States about $450 million," Garver said.

"If you take the Senate mark, take it up $350 million, giving it to U.S. companies today to get to our requested amount, it gives us the best chance to be able to replace this foreign government service by 2016. That's the choice," she said.

Overall, commercial space transportation and related industries generated more than $208 billion of economic activity and more than $53 billion in profits in the United States in 2009, a Federal Aviation Administration report released in January 2011 shows.

"That economic impact is only expected to grow," Garver said.

Reuters

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Historic Space Shuttle Launch Pad Parts Arrive for Display in Houston

HOUSTON — An iconic metal walkway and entrance room used for two decades by more than 50 astronaut crews to enter space shuttles atop the launch pad arrived at NASA's Johnson Space Center on Tuesday (Oct. 18), where they are to go on public display.

The 65-foot (20-meter) long orbiter access arm and its integrated "white room," an environmentally-controlled chamber, arrived here from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida by truck. The arm was detached from Launch Pad 39B in June 2009 after decades perched 147 feet (45 meters) above the pad's surface to span the gap between the fixed service structure, or launch tower, and a shuttle’s entry hatch.

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The arm and its white room was used for two decades between 1986 and 2006, supporting 53 shuttle missions.

Tragically, the first astronauts to use the walkway to board a shuttle for launch took their last steps on Earth while walking across it. The seven STS-51L crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were the first space shuttle crew to launch from Pad 39B on Jan. 28, 1986. Seventy-three seconds after liftoff, shuttle Challenger broke apart, ultimately claiming the astronauts' lives.

...

The Pad 39B orbiter access arm and white room will be on exhibit beginning this weekend during Johnson Space Center's annual open house and Ballunar Liftoff Festival, a hot air balloon exhibition. The gantry pieces will eventually be moved to their permanent exhibit at Space Center Houston, which serves as the center's official visitor complex.

Space Center Houston has confirmed it is developing an 8,000 sq. foot facility to house the access arm and white room, in addition to other key shuttle program artifacts. The center was not chosen to receive one of NASA's shuttle orbiters but the Explorer, a full-scale mockup, will be transferred from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to give Houston visitors the chance to explore the inside of a full size shuttle.

...

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The arm served as a bridge between between the launch pad's fixed service structure and the space shuttle. The white room, an environmentally-controlled chamber, acted as a staging area and entranceway for the orbiter's crew compartment. Photo: NASA

http://www.space.com/13337-space-shuttle-launch-pad-parts-houston.html

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Space shuttle Discovery makes final takeoff, strapped to jumbo jet for trip to museum

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PE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After three decades of space service, NASA’s oldest and most traveled shuttle, Discovery, began its new life as a museum relic Tuesday with one final takeoff.

Discovery departed Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at daybreak Tuesday aboard a modified jumbo jet bound for Washington, where it will become a Smithsonian exhibit.

Nearly 2,000 people — former shuttle workers, VIPs, tourists and journalists — gathered along the old shuttle landing strip to see Discovery off. A cheer went up as the plane taxied down the runway and took off into a clear sky.

The plane and shuttle headed south and made one last flight over the beaches of Cape Canaveral — thousands jammed the shore for a glimpse of Discovery — then returned to the space center in a final salute. Cheers erupted once more as the pair came in low over the runway it had left 20 minutes earlier and finally turned toward the north.

A similar flyover was planned over the monuments in the nation’s capital, later in the morning.

Discovery — the fleet leader with 39 space missions — is the first of the three retired space shuttles to head to a museum. It will go on display at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, taking the place of the shuttle prototype Enterprise. The Enterprise will go to New York City.

Endeavour will head to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy.

...

http://www.washingto...pm_national_pop

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Space Shuttle Discovery, the longest serving and most flown spaceship in human history, entered her eternal home, Thursday, April 19, at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Annex in Virginia

IMG_6993a_Discovery_Ken-Kremer.jpg

Discovery and Enterprise rest nose-to-nose at ceremony transferring ownership of Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on April 19, 2012.

IMG_6889a_Discovery_Ken-Kremer.jpg

Shuttle astronauts march with Discovery being towed to the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center and official Welcome ceremony

IMG_7805a_Discovery_Ken-Kremer.jpg

Discovery arrives at her final resting place in the Smithsonian

http://www.universet...historic-relic/

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Let's just hope the roof doesn't cave in on top of Discovery like what happened to the Shuttle Buran.

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35 Years Ago: NASA Unveils First Space Shuttle, 'Enterprise'

On Sept. 17, 1976, NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise was rolled out of its assembly facility in Southern California and displayed before a crowd several thousand strong. Though Enterprise was a test vehicle that never reached space, its completion in some ways marked the true beginning of the space shuttle era.

Various dignitaries were on hand to mark the occasion, including many castmembers from the original "Star Trek" television series, which had debuted 10 years earlier (the 45th anniversary of "Star Trek" was last week). Their presence was appropriate, as the prototype shuttle took its name from the sleek starship commanded by the fictional Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

This had not always been so; the shuttle's original name was Constitution. But a massive write-in campaign by "Star Trek" fans urged President Gerald Ford to go with Enterprise, and he eventually acquiesced.

...

shuttleenterprisestartre.jpg

From left to right they are: NASA Administrator Dr. James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley, who portrayed Dr. "Bones" McCoy on the series; George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); series creator Gene Rodenberry; an unnamed NASA official; and, Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov).

Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz1YpLVcrgP

Ironic, since the USS Enterprise - 1701 is of the line of starships known as the Constitution Class. :P

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The prototype space shuttle Enterprise has arrived in New Jersey, the first half of its trip to the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier in New York City.

The shuttle left Kennedy Airport Sunday morning on a barge and was towed past thousands of spectators to Jersey City. The shuttle had been at JFK since it flew from Washington atop a 747 jet earlier this spring.

Intrepid%20Space%20Shuttle.JPEG-0022d.jpg

Intrepid%20Space%20Shuttle.JPEG-05633.jpg

On Tuesday, the Enterprise is to be taken to the Intrepid on Manhattan’s West Side where a crane will lift it onto the flight deck

http://www.washingto...AcCV_story.html

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Space Shuttle Enterprise at Intrepid Museum set to open to public

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The Space Shuttle Enterprise sits on display at the Sea, Air and Space Museum's Space Shuttle Pavilion in Manhattan. The Pavilion will be open to the public Thursday, July 19

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Space shuttle Endeavour's arrival in LA prompts city to cut down 400 trees

It was billed as a triumphant parade for a big chunk of history, but the space shuttle Endeavour's procession through Los Angeles has come with a catch: the city must chop down 400 trees.

Authorities have started felling some much-loved trees to let Nasa's pride and joy rumble from LAX through streets and boulevards to its final home at the California Science Center.

Some residents have protested against the sacrifice of pines, myrtles and magnolias and other species lining the 12-mile route, saying it's a high price for a two-day parade dubbed "mission 26", following the shuttle's 25 missions orbiting Earth.

"It's unacceptable to cut down oxygen-giving species just to let something pass by," Johnnie Raines, a board member of the west area neighbourhood council, told the Guardian. "I would love to see the shuttle housed here but I don't think we should lose trees that are 40, 60 years old."

Authorities have promised to plant double the number of trees cut down, but Raines, 66, was not appeased. "They are going to be saplings and I don't have another 50 years to wait for them to become trees. It would be fantastic to have the shuttle housed here but the method of getting it here is wrong."

...

http://www.guardian....s?newsfeed=true

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NASA Shares Space Shuttle Artifacts With Museums

As NASA’s post mortem on the space shuttle program continues, many groups and organizations stand to benefit from the bounty of artifacts that the agency is making available to the public.

Starting this week, NASA is expanding the program for museums across the country to receive shuttle-related items like specially packaged food and heat shield tiles. Previously, the program had made these items only available to educational institutions.

Requests for these artifacts are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Museums must obtain a user ID and password from their state agency for surplus property,” said a NASA statement released on Tuesday.

The program will make available the more than 20,000 tiles that were installed on each shuttle to protect it from the atmospheric reentry heating that can reach thousands of degrees. The shuttle’s aluminum hull is only able to withstand a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to making the tiles available, astronaut food favorites like shrimp cocktail and spaghetti are also up for grabs. Previous food packages made available by NASA included an entrée, a dessert and a drink and were designated “not for consumption.”

Despite the fact that these items will largely serve an educational purpose, the cash-strapped agency will not be shipping them out for free. Ordering pieces of the shuttle’s heat shield, which are available in three different styles, will set a museum back $23.40 per tile. The space food package, which includes three different items, comes with a $28.03 shipping and handling fee.

...

via.pngredOrbit (http://s.tt/1mzZs)

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Space shuttle Endeavour and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft took off Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin the first leg of a mission to deliver the retired shuttle to Los Angeles where it will go on display. The flight will be the last ferry flight of the space shuttle era, capping 35 years of shuttles riding atop modified 747s, counting the approach and landing tests conducted by Enterprise in 1977.

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shuttlelanding1_620x350.jpg

pic

The Shuttle Endeavour landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a three day farewell tour.

Endeavour is scheduled to take off for its final ferry flight again on Friday, and the final airborne journey headed for Los Angeles International Airport.

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the flight schedule

NASA invites Californians to participate in space shuttle Endeavour's historic flyover of the state Friday, Sept. 21.

The orbiter, atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), is scheduled to fly over northern California and a large area of the Los Angeles basin beginning at about 8:15 a.m. PDT, one hour later than originally planned. NASA, the California Science Center, and the Federal Aviation Administration delayed the start of the flight to increase the probability that fog over the San Francisco area will dissipate before the flyover.

At 8 a.m. PDT, NASA Television will air the departure of Endeavour from Edwards Air Force Base as it begins its California flyover: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

The SCA and Endeavour will salute NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Edwards Air Force Base area after takeoff with a low flyby northbound to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Any time after 9:30 a.m. PDT, watch for Endeavour from viewing locations that include the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Chabot Space and Science Center, the California State Capitol, Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Next the aircraft will travel south, making a pass over NASA's Ames Research Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base before heading into the Los Angeles area.

Any time after 11:30 a.m., watch for flyovers of Endeavour passing landmarks such as the California Science Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Disneyland, The Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles City Hall, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Malibu Beach, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Queen Mary, Universal Studios and Venice Beach. Endeavour will land about 12:45 p.m., at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) .

http://www.nasa.gov/...main/index.html

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