Das Atlantis ist vor drei Stunden zum letzten mal gelandet und die NASA beendet damit ihr Space Shuttle-Programm, mit dem ich Raumfahrttechnisch aufgewachsen bin und schon immer Spacetravel mit dem komisch ungelenk wirkenden Flugzeug mit der schwarzen Nase verbunden habe. Die Live-Übertragung habe ich verpasst, bei der NASA läuft sie allerdings noch im Loop, grade eben vom Liveticker auf Spaceflightnow: „The astronauts climbed aboard the AstroVan for the ride to the crew quarters building where they will be reunited with family members and have some dinner. Their post-landing news conference is expected around 12 noon EDT today.“ AstroVan, damn! Mehr auf der Final Space Shuttle-Website der NASA.
Hier eine handvoll Links:
New York Times: The Shuttle Ends Its Final Voyage and an Era in Space
The last space shuttle flight rolled to a stop just before 6 a.m. on Thursday, closing an era of the nation’s space program.
“Mission complete, Houston,” said Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson of the Navy, commander of the shuttle Atlantis for the last flight. “After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history, and it’s come to a final stop.”
BBC: Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landing
Guardian: The space shuttle programme has been a multi-billion-dollar failure: „Atlantis and the other space shuttles have been a colossal waste of American resources, time and creative energy. The real science done by Nasa has not involved humans“
Telegraph: Shuttle programme by numbers
$209 Billion: The estimated total cost of Nasa's 30-year space shuttle program from development through its retirement.
3,513,638: The weight in pounds of cargo that Nasa's space shuttles have launched into orbit.
98,728.5: The number of man-hours Nasa shuttles spent in space during their 30-year history.
20,830: The number of orbits of Earth completed by Nasa shuttles before the last 13-day mission of Atlantis.
3,000: The scorching temperatures (in Fahrenheit) experienced by NASA shuttles in the hottest moments of atmospheric re-entry during landing.
New Scientist: Atlantis has landed: Shuttle programme:
In a call made to the station last week, in which he joked that he had accidently got through to the astronauts while "dialling out for pizza", President Barack Obama outlined his vision for the future of the US space programme. He wants the next generation of spacecraft that taxi astronauts to and from the space station to be developed and operated by private US companies.
As an added incentive for these companies, the Atlantis crew has left a special flag onboard the space station, which was flown by the maiden shuttle voyage 30 years ago. The first commercial crew to arrive at the International Space Station will be able to claim the flag as a prize in what Obama has described as a "capture the flag moment for commercial spaceflight".