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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
I watched an amazing documentary on the NASA Shuttle missions over the weekend. It looked at all of the NASA space Shuttle missions over the years. What struck me was the amazing ingenuity, bravery and dedication of those who worked on those missions. From the astronauts, to those who worked on the ground. Seeing astronauts repair the Hubble space telescope was a highlight for me. Watching men climb inside a huge telescope and manually fix it while being in space.
This was surely one of America's greatest achievements. It seemed to encompass all that is great about America and it's pioneering spirit. Yet the end of the documentary was quite sad. To think that America now has to rely on the old enemy to get their astronauts into space. The NASA employees in the documentary seemed very upset by the prospect that now Russia, China and even India will be back on the moon before America.
It just seems so sad that the noble pursuit of getting man off this planet, has been replaced by endless wars and bailouts. All that money, think what could have been done for the betterment of mankind.
Over the past three decades, the agency’s shuttles have played a crucial role in constructing the International Space Station (ISS), launching the Hubble telescope and sending astronauts and millions of tons of hardware into space.
Since Columbia’s maiden launch in April 1981, the five shuttles – Atlantis, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery and Endeavour - have completed 134 flights between them, and travelled a combined total of 537,114,016 miles (864,401,218km), spending 1,320 days in orbit.
I cant find a direct link to the documentary, so I guess this will have to do fo now. Hopefully the doc will be on youtube soon.
Hubble space walk.
I cannot say that I appreciated your jab at my attempts for justification.
Since not everyone can grasp the fascination that holds some peoples' heads high to the heavens, they must be convinced. This convincing may take place through passion and determination, but the more likely route, as I attempted, is through their pocketbooks.
The von Braun team worked to develop what was essentially a super-V2 rocket, named for the U.S. Army arsenal where it was being designed -- the Redstone.
In 1956, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency was established at Redstone Arsenal under von Braun's leadership to develop the Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile. A version of the Redstone rocket, known as the Jupiter C, was used on January 31, 1958, to launch America's first satellite, Explorer I. Three years later, Mercury Redstones launched Alan Shepard and Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom on suborbital space flights, paving the way for John Glenn's first orbital flight.
In 1958, NASA was established, and, two years later, von Braun, his team, and the entire Army Ballistic Missile Agency were transferred to NASA to become the nucleus of the agency's space program.
A direct result of the Sputnik crisis, NASA began operations on October 1, 1958, absorbing into itself the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics intact: its 8,000 employees, an annual budget of $100 million, three major research laboratories-Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory-and two smaller test facilities. It quickly incorporated other organizations into the new agency, notably the space science group of the Naval Research Laboratory in Maryland, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory managed by the California Institute of Technology for the Army, and the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama, where Wernher von Braun's team of engineers were engaged in the development of large rockets. Eventually NASA created other Centers and today it has ten located around the country.