Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA Sets Dates For Space Shuttle Finale

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the oh-but-they-always-stand-us-up dept.

NASA 56

coondoggie writes "After some debate, NASA today said it has set the final two launch dates for its venerable space shuttles: Nov. 1 for space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission, and Feb. 26, 2011, for the liftoff of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission. NASA said the dates needed to be adjusted because critical payload hardware for STS-133 will not be ready in time to support the planned Sept. 16 launch."

cancel ×

56 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

frosty piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32760860)

from my dick to your lips

Lost (4, Funny)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32760884)

I sure hope NASA does a better job with their finale, then the producers of Lost did with theirs.

Re:Lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32762100)

Oh SNAP!

Re:Lost (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763696)

If absolutely nothing happened when the countdown hit zero, it would be a tie. Anything else at all would be a win.

Re:Lost (2, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32765326)

Hopefully better than the Sopranos too. It's not good when the shuttle signal sudd

Re:Lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32768462)

Or Enterprise... :-(

Crossing my fingers for AMS (3, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32760892)

This certainly looks like it's a big experiment

Let's hope the last minute changes only make it better.

Re:Crossing my fingers for AMS (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763034)

I propose renaming them "space scuttles".

Also there is 1 more at the end of that? the back (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32760900)

Also there is 1 more at the end of that? the back up shuttle will go up at the end with a light crew?.

Re:Also there is 1 more at the end of that? the ba (3, Interesting)

Elros (735454) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761172)

The backup shuttle is for emergencies only. It has to be ready to go, but (if all goes well) shouldn't actually launch.

But I heard they want to use it at end and have Ru (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761610)

But I heard they want to use it at the end and have Russian be the back up.

Uhh.... (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761002)

It's fine if they want to have a grand finale, but I still think it's safer to just fly the thing back down to earth in one piece.

Oh... they mean the final flights... (2, Funny)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761124)

When I first read the title "... Space Shuttle Finale", I thought imagined that they intended to set the two remaining shuttles up at the same time, and then on reentry cause them to come down together in a massive game of chicken.

Re:Oh... they mean the final flights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32762004)

When I first read the title "... Space Shuttle Finale", I thought imagined that they intended to set the two remaining shuttles up at the same time, and then on reentry cause them to come down together in a massive game of chicken.

No, no, no.

That's Space Shuttle Sweeps Week.

Sadness (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761138)

It will be sad to see the fleet retired...nothing quite like watching the shuttle take off. It's quite possibly the loudest thing you will ever hear on Earth.

Re:Sadness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32761250)

No true at all you can barley hear it at all at any distance you will get to.

Re:Sadness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32762940)

Even at 10 miles away it will shake your car. I'd describe it as more powerful than loud, but either way it's awesome.

Re:Sadness (1)

multi io (640409) | more than 4 years ago | (#32764648)

Hey, I know -- after the final flight has finished successfully, they could take the unlaunched rescue shuttle and launch it with the sound suppression water system turned off and let the sound waves shake the shuttle and the tower to pieces -- that would be very loud, totally awesome and a grand finale indeed.

Re:Sadness (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763094)

I have been to quite a few shuttle launches. (Benefits of working for NASA)

I have been to a couple of drag races with top fuel dragsters. (Benefits of having redneck friends)

There is no comparison. Granted, at equal distances the shuttle will be far, far louder.

Re:Sadness (1)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32768586)

I have been to a couple of drag races with top fuel dragsters. (Benefits of having redneck friends)

Hmm...there seems to be significant contextual variance in the meaning of the phrase "friends with benefits." ;-)

Note to self: /. != CL (though they are equal in the limit)

Granted, at equal distances the shuttle will be far, far louder.

You mean I can get a starting line pass for the shuttle? Cool! (Or rather, hot, very hot!)

Since you brought up the two, how would you compare the experience of a shuttle launch to the launch of a top fuel dragster or funny car? I've never been to a shuttle launch (mostly because the trip from ~Ames to KSC was too painful given the r**2 falloff for those of us not working for NASA), and as a person with a lifelong love of fuel racing (no redneck friends, either, just a love of sensory overload and technological excess) I've always wondered.

I will make the pilgrimage to see the final launch, though. Not to compare the two experiences, just to honor what's been an amazing technological and human achievement.

Obligatory: "You must be new here."

Re:Sadness (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32776668)

Well... The top fuel is one of those intense, short duration experiences... You feel it in your chest, your eardrums bottom out, but it's short-lived. (as you know)

The shuttle is interesting. It seems to vary a good bit based on things such as weather. I'm certain it varies based on distance, I watch it from the Kennedy Space Center causeway, which is about 6 miles or so from the launch tower.

The sound at that distance isn't particularly loud, it seems to peak in the 106ish db range. But it feels more like it's moving the earth ground rumbling than affecting you, if that makes sense... I've heard it set off a couple of car alarms before, so it's nothing to sneeze at. It gets kind of poppy for a bit, right around max-q.

Of course, at that distance, it takes almost half a minute for the sound to actually reach you after take off, and with the diffusion that happens, it isn't quite as pronounced and crisp. (Yeesh, I'm starting to sound like an analog record nut, sorry...)

I guess if I had to sum it up, the dragsters you feel in your body, the shuttle you feel a lot by your feet.

The real thing that's always amazing isn't so much the sound as it is the light. It's something that has to be seen in person to truly understand the luminosity. The analogy I give is this: Imagine videotaping a road flare. The video can't truly reproduce the experience of seeing it with your eyes. Same for the shuttle, it's so surprisingly bright, if all you've seen is video of it.

Anyway, make the pilgrimage. If for no other reason than to be able to tell people you saw it with your own eyes. It's a great experience, and one I'm truly, truly going to miss.

Re:Sadness (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763248)

The SR-71s I saw taking off were a LOT louder than the shuttles I watched take off. I'm sure the shuttle is louder at the same distance, but I was a lot closer to the SR71s, so for me the SR71 was the loudest noise I ever heard, even though I saw quite a few shuttle launches close up*.

Those SR71s were amazing, they'd taxi down the runway, do a wheelie, and disappear. They looked like bottle rockets, as opposed to the Shuttle's slow rise.

* I lived in Orlando from 1980 to 1985, and when it took off and we weren't working we'd drive to the cape to watch. You can still see them take off from Orlando; I saw a night liftoff from my mom's house in Tampa. The last shuttle takeoff I saw in person was the one before Challenger exploded.

Re:Sadness (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32765734)

Saturn V launches were the loudest. Use to shake my windows in Indiatlantic.

After That... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761150)

...we are Russia's Bitch!

Re:After That... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762320)

...we are Russia's Bitch!

That's one way to look at it, or, Russia is simply our limo driver. Take us to orbit, Jeeves.

Re:After That... (2, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762500)

Every Russian limo driver I've seen in the movies are really bad guys who are usually taking you to a very bad place.

Re:After That... (3, Funny)

Mercano (826132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762554)

"Our Russian mission commander is Pikov Andropov."

Re:After That... (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 4 years ago | (#32773480)

I don't get it. But I want to. :(

Re:After That... (1)

Cheval (683503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32764970)

All the Russian and American parts are made in Taiwan regardless....or they were in 1998. Probably made in China now.

Re:After That... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32762544)

oh please, between dragon and the CST-100 , we have plenty of man rated vehicles coming up. dragon is going through flight tests and the CST is not a government project so boeing doesn't have to fuck with congress or the FAA (since it is not an airliner) so they can design it pretty quickly.

and the kicker is spaceX and boeing's stuff will be cheaper than a soyuz.
so I say HA

Re:After That... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762790)

I'm waiting for the X-Wing fighter.

ob (0)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761228)

yo dawg, heard you like space elevators so i put a space elevator in your space elevator and elevated it into space.

The end of an era (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761246)

I'm planning on going to see the last shuttle launch. I've never seen one before.

Re:The end of an era (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761984)

It's really worth it, I saw the one in April and it was amazing. There were tons of people there in April, I imagine the last one will be a zoo, but you won't regret it.

Re:The end of an era (1)

Scott Francis[Mecham (336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762060)

You and every other geek. I'm still kicking myself for not dropping everything and attending the May launch, after two schedule push-backs so far.

Re:The end of an era (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762966)

I just realized that I'll be in Orlando the week of the last one anyway - I might just have to go try to see it again.

Sigh (3, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761300)

I'm sad to see this in my time. I always hoped we would be pushing farther out into space, not ending our involvement in it in my life time. I really hope this isn't the end of the USA as a space faring country.

It's over (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32761532)

After Space X's Falcon 9 blew up taking half of Florida with it and costing a billion dollars at that we'll never get back to space. Our only hope is spending another 9 billion and five more years with Ares. Only NASA and it's bloated contractor costs can truly open space for all. It's too bad we gave commercial space flight the monopoly on space flight back in the 60s. Only if NASA had led the way for the last 50 years we'd be at Mars already. Total Recall would've been a documentary.

Truly, we are doomed.

Re:It's over (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761894)

What the hell are you talking about? Falcon 9 never blew up, its quite successful. Ares is cancelled and good riddance. The future is with commercial space flight ventures like Virgin and Space X.

Re:It's over (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762622)

/signed.

We need to move forward, not backward.

- Dan.

Re:It's over (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32762844)

I said the end of USA involvement I don't equate companies and corporations with the USA and I'm surprised so many other seem to.

Re:It's over (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763962)

Man, and all this time I thought the USA was a leader in high-tech silicon production, but it turns out the USA isn't making any microprocessors at all.

Now I'm depressed!

Re:It's over (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32764280)

Where do you think companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin get their money for space projects from? Lots of it comes directly from the US government, more from NASA contracts, DARPA etc. Just because NASA is reducing their own programs doesn't mean the US is out of involvement in or funding of space.

Re:It's over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32764190)

I heard the Falcon 9 made a giant WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHH sound when it blew

Re:It's over (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32766096)

No. That was your momma.

Re:It's over (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32766944)

You should have figured out that he was joking. After all, ARES only costing $9Billion, that's got to be a tip off.

Semantics (1)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761492)

In his April speech outlining NASA's future, President Obama said there would be $3.1 billion for the development of a new heavy lift rocket to fly manned and unmanned spaceflights into deep space. Obama said he wanted this technologically advanced rocket to be designed and ready to build by 2015

Funny. I always thought "deep space" was like "other star systems". So I looked it up.

One definition: any region of outer space beyond the system of the earth and moon [thefreedictionary.com]

And another: space beyond the limits of the solar system [reference.com]

I'm guessing he meant the former definition since it's such a short timeframe.
Just thought I'd share!

Re:Semantics (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763330)

Apparently, the $3.1 billion is to be used for DemocRATic political campaigns, and the heavy lift is to be generated from the hot air thusly generated.

it certainly (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761602)

makes me nostalgic. a long time ago this was seen as a shining beacon of capitalist supremacy first, and a scientific marvel second. Buran came and went, but the shuttle endured. the cosmodrome practically paid for itself on a global stage with satellites from near and far and even from the very same country it once locked horns with, and the shuttle still remained. shuttle missions brought new technologies, new achievements, and some of the most spectacular tragedies science has ever been privilege to witness. Im anxious to see what supersedes it

Re:it certainly (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32765304)

>shining beacon of capitalist supremacy first, and a scientific marvel second. Buran came and went, but the shuttle endured. And yet the Soyuz continues to fly for more than 40 years! Add another comment from some slashdotter: "Obama and his socialists comrades want to turn over US human spaceflight to private enterprise."

It's up to Canada now, I guess (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761604)

All we need to do is boost Canadarm [wikipedia.org] to the level required to operate a giant slingshot to send spacecrafts into space. That's still better than a cannon!

Hurray! (3, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32761948)

The space shuttle was an incredibly overpriced way of launching cargo and people into low orbit.

Perhaps now the money that was overpaid for transport will be better spent on actual science.

And if NASA buys launches from private firms, then NASA can help kick-start an efficient private launch industry.

Re:Hurray! (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32765254)

And if NASA buys launches from private firms, then NASA can help kick-start an efficient private launch industry.

NASA has been buying launchers and launches from private firms since roughly .002 seconds after NASA was founded, and if you'll look around you'll notice a distinct lack of an 'efficient' private launch industry. (Assuming that by 'efficient' you actually mean to say 'cheap'.) Adding a handful of flights per year to that total won't chnage much.
 
And really, when it comes to government contracting on this level - there's a huge lock in effect. Whoever wins the COTS contract in the end is going to be the next Boeing - heavily dependent on government handouts and almost impossible to dislodge.

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHH (2, Funny)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32771500)

So 2 days after i book a £600 holiday to florida to watch sts-133 on september the 16th, they postpone the launch till november 1st. Why couldn't they do this last week? AAAAAARRRRRGGHH.

Re:AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32777908)

get yer own space programme, limey!

But Rush Limbaugh says... (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32779098)

OK, I definitely know all the arguments and feelings about Rush Limbaugh, but seriously, please take a look at what he pointed out today:

He contends that NASA isn't moving the dates because of equipment issues, but to help protect the sea turtle hatchlings. Seriously!

There are efforts to move thousands of sea turtle eggs from gulf coastal waters affected by the BP spill to a location "somewhere near Cape Canaveral [chipleypaper.com] ". There are also "lighting bans" in effect for many coastal areas to help prevent disrupting the migration habits of the sea turtles. An article I found titled "Coastal Protection Of Sea Turtles In Florida [fsu.edu] " states:

[225] See id. at R. 62B-33.0051(4). The nesting season is March 1 through October 31 for Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties, and May 1 through October 31 for all other counties. See id. at R. 62B-33.002(32).

The next shuttle launch is set for Nov 1, 2010, the day after the ban ends, and the second launch is scheduled for Feb 26, 2011, two days before the ban resumes.

So, is it really an equipment issue, is it to protect sea turtles, or is it just coincidence?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?