That’s it – Space Shuttle lifts off for the last time, Atlantis heading for Space Station

The last Space Shuttle just took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission – crewed by NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson (commander), Doug Hurley (pilot), and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus – will “deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station.”

Along with bringing stuff up for the space station, Atlantis will be bringing the first iPhone into space to help with some experiments during the 12 day mission.

“The mission also will fly a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and return a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems.” (Link)

Even though the US space program has put a smile on my face for as long as I can remember, I can’t help but reflect on the following …

The United States of America can no longer put a human into earth orbit on our own. Our only option is to pay Russia $63 million for each astronaut to hitch a ride to the ISS. How do you feel about that?

I really can’t think of any time in US history where we once could do something so great as putting a person on the moon or in orbit … and now we can’t.

I think that totally sucks.

19 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I feel like it sucks, too. There was a fabulous physics teacher at my sons’ high school. Can’t remember why, but he had a connection with NASA. It blew the kids away and everyone wanted his class.? I was always told money spent on space exploration led to development of all kinds of products and small industries sprang up to produce these products. Now that’s real stimulus, smartest move JFK ever did was the Space Race. There are endless possibilities to spark our economy instead of “green” stuff.

  2. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Praise Allah. Now we can leave sending men into space to the Russians while we re-focus NASA’s mission on improving the self ?”exteem” of Muslim countries.

  3. Jim Vicevich
    Jim Vicevich says:

    A nation swelled with pride as Alan Shepard blasts into sub orbit, and John Glenn orbits the earth 3 times, and Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon. I don’t care about tang or computer chips as much as the pioneer spirit of America.

    The left has long despised the space program as a waste of money. As in how can we do this while the poor starve. It is the classic straw man argument for which they are famous. As toucan tell by the national debt one has nothing to do with the other. It is more a matter of socialism vs American exceptionalism. The left has never been comfortable with America’s singular greatness. We are, they think, no better than any other country. Relativism.

    Their wish has come true. RIP American exceptionalism.

  4. essneff
    essneff says:

    It really is a shame…….the space program did some amazing things. ?I think the budget for NASA was about one cent?of every federal?dollar spent.? We can afford/borrow nearly $1,000,000,000,000 for “shovel ready jobs that were not so?shovel ready”,?while dropping manned space exploration.????

  5. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    ?I have faith that a private entrepreneur like Branson will soon be selling the USA rides to the space station or the moon. Gates & Buffet & the like will soon be back in business-the Space business.

  6. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Jim,

    You are 100% dead on. But go figure….even communist Russia saw the importance of a vibrant space program, after the fall of communism in Russia?and the USSR.?

  7. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    It has been space travel and the exploration by science that made the things that we Americans have come to have in the 21st century that we take for granted. THANKS for the memories NASA space shuttle program.

  8. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Considering he’s such a green (with envy) energy fanatic, what’s ironic about Bumpy Barry O’Bama’s decision to quit the space race is that the Moon holds relatively huge amounts of Helium-3 which theoretically can be developed in a powerful, clean, fusion energy source here on Earth. If the Russians or Chinese beat us back to the moon and begin using its resources, they’re not going to share. Heckuva job, Barry. O’Bama must not know Alan Shepard played golf on the moon, or he never would have ended the Constellation program.

  9. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I am touched by the “outpouring” of support for the US space program. Where was all this belated support when spending money on space research was labeled a waste of taxpayer dollars?

  10. Todd from Farmington
    Todd from Farmington says:

    Jim,
    ?
    Once we fire the worst president (since Jimmy Carter) how difficult will it be to bring the space program back under an adult president?

  11. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Sammy,

    ?Who on this blog in the past said space research was a waste of taxpayer moneys?

    Links please. Or perhaps the comments archives might show a disdain for US space research????????

  12. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    GdavidH: you do the searching. This president and the previous one want the US to go to Mars. Not far enough??

  13. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    lol @ go to Mars. Only someone from another planet actually would believe Bumpy Barry wants to go Mars. No, Barrack Icarus Obama is busy flying too close to the sun.

  14. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    I don’t know Todd, I remember the Carter years….. it was bad but I don’t think Jimmy intentionally tried to destroy this Countryhe just didn’t know any better.

  15. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    GDavidH, Well there was that person who posted who was liberal and never stayed on topic and was finally banned. Can’t remember her/his name. He/she might have said it.? However, Sammy do you really think President Obama is going to keep NASA together to go to Mars? He will send them packing ASAP . Maybe we can pay ACORN to oversee the space program.

  16. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Really Sammy??????????

    You make a blanket statement accusing all the commenters here of being hippocrits and you want me to search for the comments to prove you correct????????

    ?That’s your logic???????

    WOW

  17. Todd from Farmington
    Todd from Farmington says:

    @Murphy,
    ?
    I too remember the Carter years, perhaps you are correct-while Carter was a horrible president, at least he seemed to care for the US and was actually born in USA, and he shared his college transcripts!
    ?
    OK, I stand correct, Obama is hands down the worst president, but Carter is not far behind.

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