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HOUSTON (Reuters) - The space shuttle Endeavour is perched on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center and ready to lift off within days. But this mission is one NASA hopes will never fly.
The shuttle is poised, if needed, to rescue the seven astronauts on the shuttle Atlantis if they can't make it home on their own ship.
NASA sees little chance the mission will ever take place. Safety upgrades have greatly reduced the chance of damage from debris hitting the shuttle during launch - the scenario that doomed the shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Originally posted by JanusFIN
- I heard after the launch, that something went wrong... Usually they wont say anything - if its no need to. We can expect a rescue mission in my eyes... They wont star these preparations for "maybe" ...
Man will not rest until we conquer outer space. The truth is we must find a new home for humans for future generations.
Originally posted by AlienCarnage
If they sent a shuttle into orbit to place satellites, why didn't they just use the same shuttle to pick up the space junk while they are up there, they would have then had an empty spot that the satellite was taking up? Does it have to do with increasing the mass of the shuttle when landing? Or do the astronauts just think to highly of them selves to be space junk men and women?
Would it be that difficult to conceive a space mission to clean up the junk? I understand that the mission would be expensive but would it be more expensive than ruining space vehicles that might get damaged by the debris?