Quick Notes, Personal Observations, and Other Vs. Debate Miscellany
It was a beautiful launch, and it was great to see that the changes made to the ET for this flight seems to have worked very well with rather minimal amounts of foam coming off. It looks like we can get back to flying again.
And the shuttle makes it back in one piece. So, now there'll be the 3-4 launches a year to get the station finished and the Hubble repair project done before it is retired and money can be put towards the new shuttle.
Excellent! This is wonderful news!
I'd just like to see us actually have something built and flying before we retire the STS orbiters. I'am also hoping that whoever gets elected president in 2008 reverses the 2010 retirement date for the shuttle, and lets NASA fly off a specific number of flights, rather than try to cram or cut flights to meet an unrealistic deadline.-Mike
Well I don't think there'll be another shuttle. The shuttle that NASA has now is actually a pretty good implementation of a very bad concept.All NASA is doing now is circling the Earth and doing no science at all so cutting US manned spaceflight for a few years isn't actually likely to do any harm and if it prevents NASA from having to cut back science while making more money available to CEV development then more science will have been done and the CEV will be more likely to actually be built. I worry that the retirement of the shuttle will be delayed again and again because the Shuttle and ISS will suck up the money that was needed for the CEV as well as NASA trying to cram too many flights in to complete ISS when they can't (and when it is just a waste of money anyway, better to walk away than to keep throwing money at it, the parallels between Space Station Alpha and the Alfa class submarine are striking).