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NASA, Atlantis, and Final Launch

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Djarum, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Growing up in Florida, the Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center have been a big part of the culture down there. As I got more and more interested in writing code and doing engineering, I always wanted to work for NASA. Ironically, I moved to Huntsville, AL to get my Computer engineering degree. Here in Huntsville, we have both NASA, JPL, and Marshall Space Flight Center, all of which have designed and maintain components for the shuttle and the ISS. Needless to say, the shuttle and NASA is a big part of North Alabama. It really is a shame NASA isn't moving forwar with a new shuttle.

    Atlantis, astronauts ready; weather maybe not - WAFF.com: North Alabama News, Radar, Weather, Sports and Jobs-
  2. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    When I was growing up, I always wanted to work for NASA as well. When I grew up, that's what I did. It was cool at first. Why wouldn't it be? I'm working at NASA!!!!! It was way cool the first time I fly into Dreden and a black F15 came up to escort us in. That soon wore off. Now I refer to it as wasting 7 of the most productive years in my life. I wasn't alone. There were 16 college freshouts that were hired in my batch. I was the second to last to leave. When you lose 15 out of 16 bright eyed kids, there's a problem. The problem is well... it's the government. The government should not do research and development. We coined the term, "Scientific Welfare". Many, most of the people we ran into everyday didn't do anything. They hadn't done anything in years. They didn't have to. They had tenur. So as long as they showed up to work most days, they got paid regardless. If they didn't have those jobs they would be flipping burgers somewhere or working at Walmart. I used to think that Universities should take the lead in space exploration. I was wrong. 5 years at Stanford after NASA taught me that. Samething. I still believe in space exploration. Now I believe it should be done in the private sector. A decade in industry has taught me that. Things get done.

    NASA should be shutdown. If the government feels the need to speed money on space, it should funnel that into industry as seed money. Private industry will get us back to the moon to stay. They have to, they will do it as a business and for profit and thus in a sustainable way.
  3. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I live about 10 miles from the launch pad, near Cocoa Beach. Today, the county expected nearly a million people to watch the "last" launch of the shuttle. We still see lots of other rockets go up, some bigger, some smaller, some top secret, some not. There is a great deal of pride in living here on the "Space Coast". SpaceX is picking up the slack, and after a little catch-up, I'm sure we'll be watching launches of the new heavy-lift vehicles just as we did the shuttle. The pride isn't that it is NASA, it is that WE can achieve it. If KFC was sold off tomorrow and new investors took over, we'd still be proud. Times change, and space exploration should probably be privatized now, but it is the delay and obvious poor planning in the transition that makes most of us here so frustrated. It has seriously impacted the area when it shouldn't have necessarily done so.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Enterprise from the first Shuttle flight:

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  5. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I actually grew up in Huntsville, on Monte Sano, in the 60's and 70's so I know what you mean.... I really grew up with NASA centre-stage in our lives. Sad to see the end of an era.
  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    NASA got to the moon in 1969. We have sent ships to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and a bunch of places. What is the private sector waiting for?

    Granted, NASA is not a perfect place. But flying Northworst is bad enough for a few hours, I can't imagine the "service" to the moon. And I bet they lose the luggage. :rofl:
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    LOL ... "Sorry ... your luggage went to the Astroid Belt ... you have it in half a light year ..."

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  8. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I can see the motto--"Our customer service is out of this world--we will send you into orbit!"

    BTW, nice up grade from the Tiger Moth.
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Had to enlarge the garage from the Tiger ... sorta miss the open cockpit though.


    PS- These puppies were originally built by Rockwell in SoCal ... I got to sit in one. The above shot was taken at Edwards AFB as the shuttle was waiting to be transported to Florida.
  10. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    And we haven't been back in decades. NASA can't get back there now even if it wanted to.

    The moon shots were publicity stunts. Unlike what the general public believes, it wasn't some grand vision by Kennedy. I've seen the memos. Kennedy asked for a list of things that we could beat the Soviets at. The moon was kind of arbitrarily choosen as what we would pursue. It's realatively easy to do one shot publicity stunts. Not easy to do sustainable missions. The Shuttle is proof of that. Taking into account of what it was designed to do, it's a failure.

    What is the private sector waiting for? Well, for the longest time it was waiting for it not to be illegal. As with the mail and the internet. It wasn't legal for private companies to engage in space activities. That was solely the purvey of the federal government. As Al Gore freed up the internet and created the modern internet as well know it. Yes, he really did. He allowed for commerical activity on the net. Before him, it was illegal. Hopefully Obama has freed up space for the private sector. That's why Obama is moving away from funding NASA and instead is funding the private space sector.

    The Space Review: Space law and the new era of commercial spaceflight

    And so far, the private sector has been on fire. What Space Composites has done, would never have happened in NASA. They would have thought of something far more complicated and taken decades to do it. Simple and elegant is not in the NASA culture.
  11. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    A shot of Enterprise where she sits today at the Udvar Hazy facility at Dulles International Airport. She'll eventually be leaving us for another museum as Discovery is brought in to take her place. I plan to be there when Discovery is flown in and Enterprise flown out. My husband and I were in awe as we watched Discovery fly over on her last mission a few seconds ahead of the ISS. What a sight!

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  12. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    A lot of my friends work at JPL (unmanned flight programs) and things are really tough there now -- people getting laid off and missions being canceled.
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