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Author Topic: Goodbye Space Shuttle  (Read 17202 times)
Moonwalker
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« on: July 09, 2011, 01:48:39 AM »

...<SNIP>...  I am sure to be in one depressed mood when that happens.

I am already.

I have to admit that now, after the Shuttle has launched for the very last time, I am feeling way different than I expected. It had started when I saw the closeout crew holding their good by cards into the camera, and it became worse when I saw the post launch press conference during which Launch Director Michael Leinbach said that "we won't see it ever again" when he talked about his impressions of that final launch. And the final mission isn't even over. It had just begun.

At NASA there won't be any such activities within this decade anymore like the ones we have seen yesterday. The Shuttle program has accompanied my entire youth and life for now but suddenly the end of the program really has arrived. And I am just an insignificant fanboy actually. What I mean by this is: how must NASA employees feel who were working on the program for decades and their entire careers at NASA? Huh

Maybe I am naive when I think that the commercial sector was a great concept to base NASAs future on. Maybe it wasn't and I am wrong. At the moment I am rather confused. It's 03:40 a.m. in the morning and after a few very strange dreams that woke me up each time I can't sleep right now. The whole thing stirs me up obviously, which I did not at all expect before that final launch.

Like Cthulhus said, SSM is a start of a new virtual adventure. This is actually what makes me feel better when I think about the current events at NASA. SSM will keep STS in memory for many years or even decades. So: thank you! to Admin and all others behind the curtain of SSM who make it possible. SSM is incomparable. There is nothing else left on the sim market. I am glad this place and this sim does exist!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 05:02:07 AM by Admin » Logged
Admin
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 05:06:42 AM »

I have seen Apollo's first takeoff, a human landing on the moon, the STS program end to end, but now I fee empty.

"They" promise us a human on an Asteroid around 2020, and a human on Mars "in the 2030s" (meaning anything between 2030 and 2040!). I hope to live long enough to see that happen. That would be for me a good way to go.

Nothing more to add...

/Admin
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Moonwalker
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Posts: 936


« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 06:18:05 AM »

I have seen Apollo's first takeoff, a human landing on the moon, the STS program end to end, but now I fee empty.

But you are at least still lucky for witnessing key moments of our space flight history.

I was born too late. But I'm still young. I consider 32 years young these days since we can almost easily become 80+ or even 90+ (and I really love life). So I expect something significant to happen in my lifetime. But sadly not any time soon...
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Admin
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 06:50:19 AM »

I have seen Apollo's first takeoff, a human landing on the moon, the STS program end to end, but now I fee empty.

But you are at least still lucky for witnessing key moments of our space flight history.

I was born too late. But I'm still young. I consider 32 years young these days since we can almost easily become 80+ or even 90+ (and I really love life). So I expect something significant to happen in my lifetime. But sadly not any time soon...

There is always something new to be looking forward for. You will definitely see the first human landing on Mars while wishing you can live long enough to see the first colony there, or maybe a human landing on Europa or Ganymede  Cool

Meanwhile we can all dream about this while watching the excellent BBC two-parts documentary "Space Odissey: Voyage to the Planets" :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/spaceodyssey/

I wish I was part of that crew...

/Admin
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 02:59:05 AM by Admin » Logged

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Cras
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Posts: 182


« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 10:02:43 PM »

I am quite bummed out.  The launch was great, and its great as usual watching the mission on NASA TV, but every time something happens, I know it is the last time.  Last RMS check out, then the last docking with ISS.  Last fly around, and sadly, the last landing. 

I think I need to fly STS-1 in SSMS and start the Shuttle era over again.
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DenisFerrari
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Posts: 198



« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 03:01:15 PM »

...<SNIP>...  I am sure to be in one depressed mood when that happens.

I am already.

I have to admit that now, after the Shuttle has launched for the very last time, I am feeling way different than I expected. It had started when I saw the closeout crew holding their good by cards into the camera, and it became worse when I saw the post launch press conference during which Launch Director Michael Leinbach said that "we won't see it ever again" when he talked about his impressions of that final launch. And the final mission isn't even over. It had just begun.

At NASA there won't be any such activities within this decade anymore like the ones we have seen yesterday. The Shuttle program has accompanied my entire youth and life for now but suddenly the end of the program really has arrived. And I am just an insignificant fanboy actually. What I mean by this is: how must NASA employees feel who were working on the program for decades and their entire careers at NASA? Huh

Maybe I am naive when I think that the commercial sector was a great concept to base NASAs future on. Maybe it wasn't and I am wrong. At the moment I am rather confused. It's 03:40 a.m. in the morning and after a few very strange dreams that woke me up each time I can't sleep right now. The whole thing stirs me up obviously, which I did not at all expect before that final launch.

Like Cthulhus said, SSM is a start of a new virtual adventure. This is actually what makes me feel better when I think about the current events at NASA. SSM will keep STS in memory for many years or even decades. So: thank you! to Admin and all others behind the curtain of SSM who make it possible. SSM is incomparable. There is nothing else left on the sim market. I am glad this place and this sim does exist!

...this is 100% exactly how I feel.
I'm already very sad ...
Do not know what to add in this moment.

Denis Ferrari
Italy

P.s. Let's hope SSM project will last at least as the STS program!

P.p.s. I really hope SSM2 will be available extremely soon ... It surely will become even a stronger need after the last "wheels stop"...
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Mogget
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 07:46:13 PM »

Cheer up, guys. When SSMS2 is released, the Shuttle era will have only just begun  Wink
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STS-1-8-41C-51A-26-27-31-32-47-88
Richard R
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JSC-CB


« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 02:15:50 AM »

I agree, we (the SSMS community) have a bright future ahead of us.

Richard R
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In Houston keeping up with my training.
Cras
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Posts: 182


« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 12:21:47 PM »

Its now over.  Atlantis performed perfectly.
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Admin
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 12:27:59 PM »

I feel sad, but with a strange feeling of accomplishment: I saw the first and last Apollo mission and now, the first and last STS mission. The Golden Era of Space Exploration is now over.

The next era is just beginning: the Era of the Interplanetary Exploration, and I do plan to be around and see the first human stepping on Martian soil.

Until then, we have a Space Shuttle Mission Simulator to grow. Godspeed SSMS!

/Admin
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gablau
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2011, 12:57:45 PM »

"They" promise us a human on an Asteroid around 2020, and a human on Mars "in the 2030s" (meaning anything between 2030 and 2040!). I hope to live long enough to see that happen.
/Admin

Even if you will live long enough (say, until 2060), you will not see a manned Mars mission. Remember my words! Just today morning I posted the following on another forum. Just ignore the stuff which doesn't belong, I am lazy to remove it.

----------------

Forget Mars. A 3D printer is the last thing they would need at this point. In order to get humans to Mars, an entirely new propulsion technology must be invented. I don't even understand how this didn't come out when Bush mentioned a goal by 2050 to get to Mars. Much as I am conservative, registered Republican, that was a totally unreasonable statement. Just think about it: it took an over 300 feet long Saturn V rocket to propel the (about) 4x3 meters capsule to its trip to the Moon. Since under optimal circumstances a one way trip to the Mars is about half a year, a much larger "whatever/capsule" would be required. But that is the small problem. The bigger problem are the "other stuff", such as oxygen, food, water and the list goes on. An even bigger problem: the Mars has a somewhat less gravity than Earth, but far bigger gravity than the Moon. Its atmosphere is about 1/1000th of Earth, thus the combination of larger gravity and less atmosphere would make the landing far, far more complicated than to the Moon and Earth. Continuing: Mars has no breathable atmosphere. It is one thing to walk around on the surface of the Moon in astronaut suits for a couple of hours, it is an entirely different thing to spend half a year to get there and stay there for obviously longer time periods. And here it gets more complicated. Where would the astronauts live? Some house? Whatever, wherever, that would have to be also transported there (I don't think a 3D printer could print a house Smiley. Again, food, water, oxygen, whatever else. And the problems are far from over. Coming back would be the most difficult. Forget about the "mini-launch" as they did it from the Moon, because the gravity. Going back to Mars orbit would require far more energy and propulsion. It may even require some facilities, similar to the Cape. How would they get all the required stuff there and build such facility? Then some additional fuel (and everything else) to come back to Earth.

So, we either talking about an armada of spaceships going there, and/or a totally different propulsion technology which is able to carry everything to space and propel the spaceships toward Mars, with a much less traveling time than with the current existing technology.

Other unresolved issues, such as radiation, which seems to be okay on a short term, but spending say 1.5 years in space....well....at least highly questionable (never mind about other health issues).

Mankind, while knowing already that the likelihood of life on Mars is negligible, extremely unlikely to start developing such Mars mission. I won't live long enough to witness it one way or another, but my prediction is that there will be no human travel to Mars by 2050. Keep in mind, it is four decades away, just about the same amount of time elapsed between the last Moon landing and today, the last shuttle landing. Today we don't even have a Mercury or Gemini (never mind about Apollo) to travel to the ISS.
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Admin
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2011, 01:09:44 PM »

Then I hope to live until 2060 - LOL!

Anyhow, the Old Testament says that the gift of prophecy was handed down only to fools.

I don't believe you're a fool, gblau, so I'm still optimistic about seeing a human on Mars during my lifetime Smiley

/Admin
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Moonwalker
Shuttle Pilot
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Posts: 936


« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2011, 08:00:21 PM »

Now that the STS era has come to an end I feel even worse. I had a very bad night before I got up shortly before the final STS-135 crew wakeup call. I had a very strange dream: I was standing below one Shuttle inside the Shuttle Processing Facility, just next to Charles Bolden and Obama during a visit. There were also engineers/technicians standing around us and of course people from the press. Bolden was explaining that STS comes to an end and they don't yet have any option to go into space anymore. Obama disbelievingly shook his head and said repeatedly: "no, I won't let that happen". I was trying to shout at him to ask why in fact he let it happen then. But I could not get only one tone out of my mouth. Maybe you know this when you try to scream whilst dreaming and it doesn't work. It was horrible. I woke up with quite a high pulse beat and a very dry mouth.

I guess that dream was caused by a combination of the STS retirement today and a short interview of Bolden which I saw last year:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8599671.stm

Damn. I never expected that the whole thing would stir me up that much. All my thoughts today turned on the past two decades during which STS and NASA always accompanied my private life. I even picked out my old "Shuttle" sim by Virgin Games and I even flew a complete STS-1 mission with it (but with time skip of course), which I didn't do since 1994 if I remember correctly. It brought back quite a lot of memories of the early 1990's when I became interested in the Space Shuttle and space flight on the whole.

I wish today it would be like it was during the end of the manned Apollo moon landings. Back then they already had Skylab in mind and the Shuttle program already was approved by congress. What a golden age of space flight this was. And what we have today? Actually nothing Cry The only thing that makes only one of my eyes wet is that we have at least the ISS in orbit. I can't imagine how it would feel like if there was nothing left in orbit. I refuse to imagine something like this.

Some say it's exaggerated patriotism. But I liked it and I think it was very appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHwOMNOLvI0

---

As for going to Mars:

We already can fly to Mars with our current technology. We need only two things: clear decisions and budget.
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Cras
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Posts: 182


« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2011, 09:17:48 PM »

I don't care if President Obama says Americans can no longer fly the Space Shuttle!

Between SSMS and Shuttle, I will pilot the Shuttle as long as I darn well please!


But back to the Mars convo, there is a famous plan somewhere out there on how NASA was planning to go to Mars as early as the 1980's using Satern Vs as lift vehicles and fuel tanks.  Impressive stuff, if not a bit rough around the edges.  You ever want to learn how it could be done, and at what cost, I recommend Voyage by Stephen Baxter.  It is a heck of a ride.  And uplifting as well.

Now if you want to be depressed out of your mind, read Titan.  Using Shuttle tech to get to Saturn.  Holy cow is that book depressing.
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Admin
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 03:28:53 AM »

In order to get anywhere - especially into Space - you need vision, ambition, determination, relentlessness, decisiveness and focus. With all six, money comes too.

Unfortunately, when it comes to manned Space Exploration - the current politicians lack all of them.

Their scrambled priorities are a sign of weakness. I hope CHANGE comes soon.

/Admin
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