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A Journey's End
April 12, 2011 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Following on the heels of NASA's announcement of the final resting places of the various space shuttles, NASA, in conjunction with William Shatner, released a final video commemorating the program. (SLYT)
posted by Heliochrome85 (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seattle was robbed!
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was disappointed (much like everyone whose local area wasn't chosen) to see that Space Center Houston isn't getting one of the shuttles...
posted by fireoyster at 4:06 PM on April 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Day The Space Shuttle Came To London - this is when I saw Enterprise, at Stansted airport in 1983. It was on the back of an airliner, just like in Moonraker.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on April 12, 2011


Obviously, it wasn't enough to run the program so that there would be jobs in as many Congressional districts as possible -- they should have built enough vehicles so everyone could have one!
posted by dhartung at 4:14 PM on April 12, 2011


Dang, the Spruce Goose museum down the street from me didn't get one, but yay! we are getting a simulator it sounds like.
posted by mathowie at 4:18 PM on April 12, 2011


I guess George Takei was too busy making those Social Security PSAs.
posted by briank at 4:23 PM on April 12, 2011


It wouldn't be SPACE without SHATNER!
posted by Splunge at 4:57 PM on April 12, 2011


William Shatner and Patrick Stewart for NASA.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:12 PM on April 12, 2011


fireoyster: "I was disappointed (much like everyone whose local area wasn't chosen) to see that Space Center Houston isn't getting one of the shuttles.."

I was hoping for the Exploratorium.
posted by brundlefly at 5:16 PM on April 12, 2011


The Future, Now With 100% More Shatner!
posted by tommasz at 5:28 PM on April 12, 2011


Dunno if it's because I'm sick today or what, but I choked up a few times watching that video. This was one of the greatest achievements of our race, and it saddens me to think mine may be the first generation not to come up with something more impressive.

Using McCreary's passacaglia from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica was a nice touch, too.
posted by spitefulcrow at 5:31 PM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel for people who wanted an orbiter to come to Houston, but I wouldn't trust Space Center Houston to take care of one in the long term. If you've never been there, imagine a space-themed McDonald's playground. It is literally a children's indoor playscape full of things that have nothing to do with spaceflight; it is not a museum in any sense.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:43 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What? I was there 2 weeks ago. You get to see mission control. The real mission control. You can see a Saturn V rocket. I cried when I went into that building. Yeah, there's a lot of kids stuff like the enormous play scape (which my kid loved), but saying it's not a museum in any since is pure poppycock. Poppycock!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:54 PM on April 12, 2011


Fair enough, I was probably too negative there. I think my beef with the place is that, given a choice between being entertaining and educational, they will always choose entertainment. It seems like a very superficial environment. They actually discarded many of the exhibits that used to be on display in the original visitor's center.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:06 PM on April 12, 2011


But to be fair, I left wanting more. I definitely get the entertainment > education vibe.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:19 PM on April 12, 2011


Ring down the curtain; the farce is over!

Historian David Baker has something to say in Wired today. A taste:

But then during Apollo, a huge number of people came over from the Air Force, and they tied it all up.... All of a sudden NASA was a huge political tool.... That was really one of the changes that I think came through in the ’70s with the Apollo program, and it was never going to be the same again....

Look at the planetary program. That’s tremendous. Look at the astronomy program. When you get these sudden spurts, you’ve got the Bush administration wanting Constellation, the Obama administration wanting to throw it all into private — it’s just thrashing back and forth. You’re going to completely destroy it, if it isn’t allowed to proceed under its own energy.

posted by Twang at 6:29 PM on April 12, 2011


Am I the only one disappointed that they are not being shot out into space for some other civilization to find?

Eh, maybe I watched Explorers one too many times as a child.
posted by fyrebelley at 8:10 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Taking an already-in-place shuttle away from the Smithsonian is asinine.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:51 AM on April 13, 2011


In the Video Shatner says Endeavor flew 24 missions. Does anyone know how many secret military missions it flew? Would they be included in that total?
posted by Gungho at 6:45 AM on April 13, 2011


Houston got Shuttle-Cock Blocked.
posted by haley_joel_osteen at 6:52 AM on April 13, 2011


Gungho, some shuttle payloads were classified but the fact that a mission took place never was. It would be really, really hard to launch something that big without everybody knowing about it, in fact. So you can trust that the mission count is accurate.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:53 AM on April 13, 2011


Taking an already-in-place shuttle away from the Smithsonian is asinine.

Sure, it doesn't make sense if you think about the costs of removing it from the museum and transporting it to another location. However, it seems that they're giving the Smithsonian the more desirable shuttle because Discovery actually flew where Enterprise didn't. So, it seems like a status decision instead of a fiscal decision.
posted by onhazier at 6:56 AM on April 13, 2011


Dunno if it's because I'm sick today or what, but I choked up a few times watching that video. This was one of the greatest achievements of our race, and it saddens me to think mine may be the first generation not to come up with something more impressive.

That makes two of us. General Bolden, NASA's administrator, choked up several times as well. Bolden is a veteran of three shuttle missions and an all-around good guy. He's had a horrible time in his position as administrator, essentially being told to wind down a 40 year old program with nothing to replace it.

I have no doubt that he feels incredible sorrow about all of it and he knows that he's doing the politicians' dirty work.

What makes the whole STS closedown so sorrowful is that we really don't have anything better, unique, groundbreaking to replace it with. We've been stuck in a political quagmire for the better part of 25 years where the political class couldn't get its act together and instead used NASA as a political football for their own ends. It really is a sad day for America and I don't think most people realize the entirety of what this represents for our country.

It's a failure on so many levels and in so many ways indicative of how our country is evolving into a nation that turns away from risks, demands instant gratification, has no tolerance for failure and is losing its will and imagination.
posted by tgrundke at 7:16 AM on April 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


As far as I can tell, the totality of the future NASA exploration missions:
- Juno Jupiter orbiter (Aug 2011)
- Mars space lab with new and improved rover (Nov 2011)
- GRAIL dual lunar orbiter (Sept 2011)
- LADEE lunar orbiter (2012)
- MAVEN Mars orbiter (2013)
- James Webb telescope (2015)

And that's it. No definite plans for missions beyond 2015, and even the JWST could be in danger. No real plan for human flight except hitching a ride to the ISS and back from Russia.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2011


Does anyone know the song that's played at the end? It sounds so familiar but I can't put my finger on it.
posted by Han Tzu at 4:58 AM on May 9, 2011


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