Posted by g7fek on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:55:18 +0100
Atlantis completes its final mission marking the end of the Space shuttle program.
As the only re-usable spacecraft in human history, the space shuttle program has achieved so much during its lifetime. Is this the end of an era or the beginning of the development of new and better space flight technology?
The final touchdown:
Space shuttle Atlantis has completed the deorbit burn, setting it on a course to return to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Entry interface, the point at which the shuttle begins entering the Earth's atmosphere, will occur at 10:24:50 a.m. GMT. Peak heating begins at 10:34 a.m., the first roll reversal to slow the spacecraft will take place at 10:41 a.m., and peak heating should end about 10:44 a.m.
A moment in history. With the space shuttle program costing so much money, will the next step be the privatization of space flight and commercial development of space technology?
Unfortunately the end of the Space Shuttle Program results in thousands of job losses at Nasa and in related industries.
The Space Shuttle was useful as a re-usable space craft for Earth orbit and therefore useful for the maintenance of satellites and the ISS. However, the shuttle was not useful for space exploration, requiring breaking away from earth orbit, such as visiting the Moon Mars, or asteroids. These are projects for which space technology needs to evolve further.