Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

CmdrTaco at Kennedy Space Center

CmdrTaco posted about 3 years ago | from the wish-you-were-here dept.

NASA 105

Matthew Travis from the Ares Institute Inc helped me get a press pass for the STS-135 Launch. so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for no scrub. I'm tweeting as @cmdrtaco from the launch if you are into that sort of thing. I'll have more later, but for now you'll have to make do with a photo I took, as well as a brief video clip I took of Atlantis on the pad at night.*

cancel ×

105 comments

dude (1)

ravenspear (756059) | about 3 years ago | (#36690252)

It's betting scrubbed.

Only a 30% chance of acceptable launch weather tomorrow.

Re:dude (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690258)

fucking niggers. space shuttle looks like a big white penis. now imagine an even bigger nigger penis. it would be NIGGERDICKS IN SPACE!!

Re:dude (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690300)

Are you retarded or something?

Re:dude (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#36690494)

Your average retard has a hundred times the class, decency and IQ of that pathetic vile repugnant abortion-that-should-have-been.

Re:dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36692276)

How could this be modded troll?

Sad news.... American space program, dead at 54 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36693848)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - the space shuttle transportation system was found dead in its Florida home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy its work, there's no denying its contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:dude (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 3 years ago | (#36695724)

Woops, cynicism fail. [spaceflightnow.com]

For future reference, I work in the launch industry, and we routinely launch on days with 20% to 30% chance for acceptable weather. Try not to be so negative. This is space we're talking about!

Good luck (2)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#36690296)

I envy you, I've unfortunately never been within 1,000 miles of the cape for a launch. This Christmas break there's a chance I'll be in Florida for a planned Delta I V Heavy launch, if so I'll definitely be taking the family.

Re:Good luck (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | about 3 years ago | (#36690446)

It's worth it. I was on a beach nearby when a shuttle launched, it was a hell of a thing.

Re:Good luck (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#36690530)

I'm in Orlando now, waiting for a friend to catch up so we can relocate over to Titusville for the launch (lost the raffle for a chance to buy KSC tickets... misery). I'm really hoping that it goes off on time though, or gets scrubbed and pushed to one of the next two windows (Sat and Sun). If they push to the third, July 18th iirc, the whole trip was a waste. :(

But such are the hazards of trying to come see a launch.

Re:Good luck (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#36690740)

I'm in Tampa sleeping for the night, and making my way to Titusville around 6-8am. Meetup?

Re:Good luck (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#36691296)

If you're in Tampa you're going to want to leave like right now... Space View Park supposedly is packed like 6+ hours before launch. I'm stuck in Orlando waiting on my buddy still (flight delayed). :(

Though they could still decide to scrub due to weather.

Re:Good luck (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 3 years ago | (#36690942)

Most people lost the raffles. I was really hoping for causeway tickets, as the view from the Visitor's Center and Astronaut HOF seem disappointing, not much better than some of the surrounding areas because you don't see the thing leave the pad except on a low resolution jumbotron.

I had hoped to be there, but I needed to finish a major project in a timely manner before trying again to watch a launch.

Maybe things will settle down so I can go see the launch of the Curiosity rover in November.

Re:Good luck (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | about 3 years ago | (#36691396)

I watched STS-131 from the visitors center. It was a night launch, and while I wished I could have had causeway tickets, it was still awesome to watch the sky light up like a sunrise and hear the roar of the engines. We also got to see the ISS pass over us "through the moon" shortly before launch.

Re:Good luck (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 3 years ago | (#36691436)

The next window is the 16th [spaceflightnow.com] if the Delta 4 launch gets off on time, not that that helps you. I don't know how long you're there, but the Delta launch is scheduled for the 14th at 2:49-3:08 a.m., which would be better than nothing.

Re:Good luck (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#36692104)

I'd take today, tomorrow or Sunday. 16th isn't an option, and I'd really like to see a shuttle launch. :/

Re:Good luck (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 3 years ago | (#36692394)

Indeed, and best of luck to you (and everyone involved). :)
The weather went green for a bit, so there is at least a chance!

Re:Good luck (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 3 years ago | (#36691168)

I was fortunate enough to attend a launch a couple years ago, I've never seen anything like it. The sound when the rumble from the main engines hits you, even from miles away, is pretty amazing. Even so, I'm still jealous of anyone who gets to go to this one.

One of the things that stuck in my head was while we were driving around KSC we were driving past the Vehicle Assembly Building, historic launch pads, control center, the port where the external tanks come in from the sea, and the visitor area that contains a full Saturn-V rocket, with a view of the shuttle on the pad across a small body of water. Among all of that are alligators living in the canals and water around the complex, where you see them laying on all the banks, and it's a pretty crazy contrast to see arguably one of the most advanced things humanity has produced next to one of the most ancient animals that is still around. I can only imagine what the alligators think when they hit the ignition on that thing.

Re:Good luck (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 3 years ago | (#36692192)

Great post, thanks.

Re:Good luck (1)

amn108 (1231606) | about 3 years ago | (#36692720)

Well written, thanks :)

Re:Good luck (1)

b0bby (201198) | about 3 years ago | (#36694188)

I was fortunate enough to attend a launch a couple years ago, I've never seen anything like it. The sound when the rumble from the main engines hits you, even from miles away, is pretty amazing. Even so, I'm still jealous of anyone who gets to go to this one.

That was the thing that most impressed me, too - we were sitting on our car about ten miles away. It was a predawn launch, and at first you just saw the flames going up. About 30 seconds later, when it was already quite high up, the sound hit & the car was shaking. It ranks up with the aurora borealis for awesome (literally) things I've seen.

It was neat seeing it in the dark, because about 20 minutes before launch you could see the space station come by, and you realized that pretty soon the shuttle was going to be joining it.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36693938)

Yo dawg, I heard you was gay.

Is this where Slashdot is heading? (-1, Troll)

bartyboy (99076) | about 3 years ago | (#36690298)

July 2031 - CmdrTaco visits a sweat lodge in Idaho, drinks some mysterious peyote-based beverage, strips down to his undies, climbs a tree and proceeds to live-tweet his 23-hour psychedelic trip.

At least he provided a picture this time.

Re:Is this where Slashdot is heading? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | about 3 years ago | (#36690342)

Hey, we should be so lucky! Over on Fark [fark.com] , Drew Curtis still can't find his way from the pub to the launch complex!

Re:Is this where Slashdot is heading? (1)

uzyn (1165803) | about 3 years ago | (#36690350)

Slashdot started as a personal blog of CmdrTaco after all.

Re:Is this where Slashdot is heading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690458)

At least this qualifies as news for nerds.

No offense taco ... (-1, Troll)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#36690302)

But your Twitter picture is pretty awful. Unless you're going for the 50-years-old-and-not-well-kept look.

Hell that picture looks almost as bad as the code that is running this joint now.

Love your subject line (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#36690486)

That's like saying no offense, but you're ugly and I can smell you from here.

Re:No offense taco ... (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 3 years ago | (#36690570)

The green eye of jealousy is rearing it's ugly head. I wonder how many people who feel this way are the ones who always complain about things, but never ever do anything.

The shuttle launch is something that is likely never going to happen again, and those who have not had the opportunity should be jealous. I have seen it from four miles out. It is a vision to behold. I have also been working in mission control during a two flights and been in the integration areas at KSC. I know how lucky I am, and am always saddened by those who choose jealousy over action. To many people think they have seen or done something because they have been to Disneyland, or a major concert, or maybe a major sporting event. But the something like the Shuttle matters beyond the technology of a entertainment event or who wins or loses an event. The shuttle represents our human capability to coordinate thousands of people and mechanical parts into a functioning whole that breaks us from the limits of the earth.

So rather than being jealous, go out and do something useful. Quite wasting your time trying to be the Big Man on slashdot, compensating for the lack of Real Innovation. Do Something.

Re:No offense taco ... (3, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36691078)

The shuttle launch is something that is likely never going to happen again, and those who have not had the opportunity should be jealous.

All of the shit that happens around us is unique and is never going to happen again. IOW: not much of an argument. It's all a matter of what one values in life. It's important to you: fine. Important to my Dad, who saw a Shuttle launch in the 80s. Not all that important to me -- certainly less important than, say, working on my house.

As far as I'm concerned, recent CPUs and GPUs are no less of a technological achievment than, say, a Shuttle launch. They are all immensely complex technical systems, even if the Shuttle is "just" a spaceplane strapped to a rocket, and, say Penryn is "just" a CPU on a piece of silicon wafer. Whether the parts are mechanical or not doesn't matter much, IMHO. Things fail spectacularly in the silicon world, too.

Doing "Something", to me, definitely wouldn't be watching a Shuttle launch.

Re:No offense taco ... (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 3 years ago | (#36694850)

As far as I'm concerned, recent CPUs and GPUs are no less of a technological achievment than, say, a Shuttle launch.

Not exactly the same kind of risk involved or the same type of experience -- one is a spectacle and the other is not:

To watch a launch of a vehicle breaking the bonds of earth's gravity to venture out into an inhospitable environment where those on board risk their lives is on a somewhat different scale than, say, pushing the power button on my desktop.

Things fail spectacularly in the silicon world, too.

Really? The same way they can in Space Exploration? Really?

Re:No offense taco ... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36695802)

As far as I'm concerned, recent CPUs and GPUs are no less of a technological achievment than, say, a Shuttle launch.

Not exactly the same kind of risk involved or the same type of experience -- one is a spectacle and the other is not:

To watch a launch of a vehicle breaking the bonds of earth's gravity to venture out into an inhospitable environment where those on board risk their lives is on a somewhat different scale than, say, pushing the power button on my desktop.

You fuck up a run of a few million CPUs like Penryn, you're out of a billion bucks. That's in the same ballpark as losing a Shuttle. Certainly way more than monetary value of any human life that's lost in a Shuttle accident.

As far as inhospitable environments go: you should visit a sub-50nm fab once, and see the whole manufacturing process start to finish. Kinda makes Shuttle look dumb -- IMHO.

I don't get the whole romanticization of risk and frontier. Watching, say, an electron force microscope work gives me way more chills than any chemical rocket launch ever could. Small things are no less complex than big things. In fact, they can be way more complex, it's just hard to see with your naked eye. The exponents involved in the physical dimensions are irrelevant. Yeah, a Shuttle launch is as physically big, noisy thing, with plenty of audiovisuals to go with it. Knowing me, I'd probably fall asleep at T-20, just like I often do during 4th of July firework celebrations. The boom gets old real quick, you've got only one pair of ears, better keep good care of them.

Things fail spectacularly in the silicon world, too.

Really? The same way they can in Space Exploration? Really?

Just the fact that when you blow up a few billion 45nm transistors it doesn't cause billions worth of damage doesn't mean that it's any less spectacular. Semiconductor failure modes are quite fascinating things, and the accumulated knowledge in this area is well on par with accumulated knowledge about aerospace snafus. I'd tend to think that semiconductor knowledge has been surpassing aerospace knowledge simply due to rather fast progress in the former. About the only place where you'd use the exact same CPU for 3 decades is a nuclear plant control room, and that's just because certifying new stuff costs money that utilities are not willing to spend. No major performance indicators in the aerospace world have improved anywhere near the major indicators in the semiconductor world. None. Specific impulse, fuel-to-dry-weight ratio, etc., are all well in the same order of magnitude as they were 40 years ago. About the only major thing that has happened was SpaceX's pioneering vertical integration and resulting cost and time-to-market savings that are pretty much unheard of in the contemporary trenches. The last time rockets were designed so quickly and at such a relatively low cost was in Nazi Germany...

Re:No offense taco ... (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 3 years ago | (#36696086)

You seem really focused on monetary value. I was trying to show you there are things beyond that. The fact that you can't see that risking/losing human lives puts space exploration in a different ballpark than manufacturing processors I find quite sad -- and of course there's that whole "leaving the frikkin' planet thing". *shrug*

BTW, I'm not discounting the amazing achievements in computing -- I just find it to be in a different category than leaving the planet. And of course, space exploration relies on computing technology.

Re:No offense taco ... (0)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#36692134)

Not to be rude against the shuttle or anything, but if I wanted to talk tech revolution I feel the computer I'm sitting at now and the Internet it's connected to are the absurdly biggest revolutions of the last 25 years or so (yes I know the PC and arpanet itself is older). We're talking going from 64kB to 16GB of RAM, 1 Mhz to 3 GHz processors, tapes with ~200 kB of storage to 2 TB hard disks, it's absurdly many orders of magnitude. Not to mention the Internet going from a university thing to something 99% of all households with children have.

That and wireless, when I grew up mobile phones didn't exist (okay they were invented but nobody had them) and these days there are more subscriptions than there are people, as many have home and work phone. A modern smart phone playing video over wireless broadband from a server halfway around the world is just off the scale compared to what I could have imagined 25 years ago. And the broadband revolution is still very much in progress with fiber rollout, higher speeds and lower prices.

So do I feel I need to go see the shuttle to see progress? I got the feeling that progress is far more tangible and all around me, maybe it's that you get it at a distance but if you take a step back and look at your own life you'll probably see plenty changes right there. The shuttle is fine but I don't feel it has had nearly the revolutionary impact on everything else like the Apollo program did, trickle-down science from the space program not withstanding.

Re:No offense taco ... (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 3 years ago | (#36692268)

Hey, when I was a kid we didn't even have colour TV. Now I'm pissed-off that my keyboard's backlighting is shitty.

Re:No offense taco ... (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 3 years ago | (#36692222)

Increased communication results in increased whining (mostly from know-it-all-teenagers), but overall should end up being a good thing.

Press Site (3, Insightful)

jra (5600) | about 3 years ago | (#36690310)

I was there, for the STS-132 Tweetup, and it is absolutely incredible.

Nearly 2700 press were badged for this launch; the record was 2707 for STS-1, and they might find they've beaten it when all is said and done.

Shame the press paid no attention to the 100 or so in the middle; perhaps the public would have raised more fuss with its legislators about NASA's miserable budget.

Re:Press Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690654)

No, the shame lies in that there WAS over 100 launches...

Re:Press Site (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 3 years ago | (#36691042)

It's a shame you don't elaborate on the specifics of your lament, some of which I might guess, but it's hard to comment on assumptions of your reasoning.

The original intention was far more, they thought they could get 100 out of each one and fly a lot more often. That didn't work though, for several different reasons. It would have been nice to have a more orderly transition to something else. I'm disappointed that Constellation never flew outside of the test of Ares I-X. I suppose that wasn't going to work out anyway, I-X costed too much. Space development is somewhat calcified, they had designed three different series of space capsules and at least four manned rockets in the ten years up to the moon shot. The STS ran for thirty years.

Re:Press Site (1)

dunezone (899268) | about 3 years ago | (#36693694)

The original intention was far more, they thought they could get 100 out of each one and fly a lot more often. That didn't work though, for several different reasons. It would have been nice to have a more orderly transition to something else.

And this might be the core reason NASA is having trouble being approved for funding for a new program. The shuttle failed in a lot of areas where it shouldn't have.

It was not practical in the sense of re-usability requiring massive overhauls and inspections after each use which made the turn around time for another launch incredibly long. This ballooned the budget of NASA and honestly probably the main reason why its not receiving the proper funding because the program is bloated and not efficient.

We had six shuttles in the fleet, 1 which was only used for testing and not missions, 3 which were used for actual missions, and 2 that we lost. Losing 40% of your operational fleet is pretty bad considering the cost behind a single shuttle.

You see the trend here? Cost. I would love to see a strong budget for NASA but its just not happening until NASA finds a cost-effective replacement. Of course people complain about the military budget and why some of that funding is not moved to NASA. But a big difference here is that from a public and political view, the military is bringing in results we see on the news every day. NASA on the other hand, I don't know what they have done in the past 20 years outside of their launches. This is why the Simspons episode where Homer goes into space is so funny, because it showed back in the mid 90s how much nobody really cared about the space program.

Re:Press Site (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36691868)

Test1

Re:Press Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36693890)

Hmm, perhaps the fact that the public didn't pay attention should tell you something, instead of trying to shoehorn your religious beliefs onto society. Space is empty, there's nothing there for us and our technology (and lifespan!) don't scale to the true vasteness and emptiness of space beyond low Earth orbit and the Moon.... Get over it. We can build artificial windpipes now. That blows your pathetic fixation with rockets and quasi-military A-type pilots strapped to fireworks out of the water. At least there IS water here on Earth!

Re:Press Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696798)

perhaps the public would have raised more fuss with its legislators about NASA's miserable budget.

Oh man, not this again. NASA's PR is incredible. NASA's budget is about 18 Billion dollars a year. In what world is that pathetic? If we can't send things into space for 18 billion dollars, then maybe its not worth it, or maybe we should let someone else (private sector) do the job.

Now maybe you can make the argument that space exploration should be a higher priority, and I might agree with you. But the "poor NASA" stuff really gets to me for some reason, especially when they pull the "We have to cancel our ultra successful Voyager mission, because we just can't scrape together the $4 million a year it takes to run the project!" No one ever questions management's stupid decision making process in the budget, and why they can't just lop $4 million off of some other mega project, people just clamor "OMG! NASA is soo underfunded!" NASA plays the public's heart like a fiddle.

Press pass? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690312)

Since when is Slashdot "Press" ?

Hey there Cmdr! (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | about 3 years ago | (#36690392)

Looking forward to live twitpics Cmdr! :) Saw third to last launch in person, it was spectacular. Wish I could make this last one. Fingers crossed for no scrub!

Re:Hey there Cmdr! (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 3 years ago | (#36690574)

I was there for STS-133 too. What a fantastic day that was - clear blue skies and Discovery burning beautifully across them.

Re:Hey there Cmdr! (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 3 years ago | (#36690772)

I was there for STS-51-L. What a fantastic day that was - clear blue skies and the Challenger exploding beautifully across them.

Re:Hey there Cmdr! (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | about 3 years ago | (#36690984)

Still not funny.

Re:Hey there Cmdr! (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 3 years ago | (#36691862)

Wrong mission, both of you.

Horray! (1)

chebucto (992517) | about 3 years ago | (#36690414)

This put a smile on my face... I wanted to go but never got the time + money to do it. CmdrTaco being there and posting updates about it will have to do. Now, we all have a pair of eyes on the ground, our Nerd in Cape Canaveral.

Re:Horray! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690502)

You know what would put a smile on my face? A rimjob.

Re:Horray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36691972)

So who's going to be the lucky recipient?

Re:Horray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690852)

One Nerd among many. The Nerdiness Concentration at the Cape must be off the scale....

BAHAHAHAHAHA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690418)

Launch is being scrubbed Malda, hope you enjoy tweeting about the weather for the next few days.

Also, you might want to take a picture from say, 20 years ago and replace it with that ugly bastard of a face you're showing on twitter these days. You look like a school janitor that's been forced into "retirement" after banging one too many kids in the boiler room.

No Scrub! (2, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | about 3 years ago | (#36690434)

Just for you, Lt. Burrito:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyfLER3Z0-Q [youtube.com]

(mod me down if you must. that's funny.)

Re:No Scrub! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690768)

There is something surreal about the juxtaposition of Taco, the Shuttle, and that song. It has the kind of weird that sticks.

Re:No Scrub! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36692672)

Just for you, Lt. Burrito:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyfLER3Z0-Q [youtube.com]

(mod me down if you must. that's funny.)

Not have in Canada it appears.

@cmdrtaco has only 250 followers? (-1, Redundant)

Garabito (720521) | about 3 years ago | (#36690442)

Come on, even I have more followers than him!

Re:@cmdrtaco has only 250 followers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690498)

Why do you think he's spamming the link to his twitter account on the front page? Just because he owns and operates a popular site doesn't mean that he can't be a fucking loser at the same time (hint: he can, oh can he ever).

Re:@cmdrtaco has only 250 followers? (2)

elijahu (1421) | about 3 years ago | (#36690558)

Maybe in Twitter, but just casually glancing around a bit I see /. user numbers in the >1.7 mil range. When you get that many people signed up to read your tweets, then come back and talk smack.

BTW, nice score on the press creds, Taco. Have a great time. Hope the weather clears and they get that thing off the ground.

Re:@cmdrtaco has only 250 followers? (2)

DaTFooLCaSS (762599) | about 3 years ago | (#36690612)

Come on, even I have more followers than him!

As per requested,Twitter just got the @cmdrtaco name back from a squatter. "Greetings new BFFs. It's true: the twitter gods granted me @cmdrtaco from the hands of the squatter who held it for years."

Congrats. Have fun! (1)

Jeremy Lee (9313) | about 3 years ago | (#36690464)

Congrats, dude. My best friend was at the launch last year. I hear it's damn cool.

First no Concorde, now no Shuttle. Can't help but feel civilisation is slipping a little.

Re:Congrats. Have fun! (3, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | about 3 years ago | (#36690678)

Merely ideas before their time. Both nice in theory but ugly reality made them too ineffective for their roles.

Fortunately, we (as in civilization) have taken our lessons learned quite well. The Concorde was too inefficient relative to high subsonic aircraft (i.e. high fuel costs), and had very limited routes due to restrictions on supersonic land overflights. There is a lot of research going on now to reduce sonic booms to the point of elimination, as well as improving efficiency. The next supersonic commercial aircraft, whenever it is made, will be cost competitive and capable of flying more routes.

The shuttle's failings are well documented, but the next generation of manned vehicles demonstrate the lessons learned quite well. All have the passenger cabin on top, separate crew and cargo functionality, seek simplicity and are truly reusable rather than merely refurbish-able. Additionally, by seeking multiple independent vendors we are avoiding the single string failures we encountered after Columbia, Challenger, and the current retirement plan.

We didn't get things right the first time out on either of these, but thats not necessarily a bad thing -- mistakes are often the best way to learn.

Re:Congrats. Have fun! (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 3 years ago | (#36691496)

Well said. It's worth noting that in terms of capability, the shuttle was a huge success. It's just that you had to take all of that capability on every flight, whether you needed it or not, so the economics didn't work. The next generation is quite promising for solving that, and with out losing much capability.

If we manage to get:
- One of: Crewed Dragon, Dreamchaser, CST-100, or New Shepherd
- ISS and Bigelow stations
- Either SLS or Falcon Heavy

Then we have essentially all the capabilities of the Shuttle except for large volume downmass. Add Orion/MPCV (or an upgrade to one of the other crew vehicles) and we'll have a significantly farther reach. If they can just get it done in such a way that Congress can't kill it, this could be a new age, and that the lessons that make it possible were learned from the Shuttle is possibly the best legacy it can have.

Re:Congrats. Have fun! (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 3 years ago | (#36692864)

We didn't get things right the first time out on either of these, but thats not necessarily a bad thing -- mistakes are often the best way to learn.

Will someone please mod the parent up?

The philosophy presented is something which may benefit young people reading this website.

Thanks in advance.

Re:Congrats. Have fun! (1)

squidguy (846256) | about 3 years ago | (#36692138)

Ahhh but Sid Meir and Firaxis brought you Civ 5 and will soon bring out Civ 6 complete with no changes aside from bug fixes.

Good Luck for all of us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690510)

I may have seen you. We're here as well. We were in a 3-bus procession... as we passed another bus parked in the "observation grass" (among the mosquitos)... saw a younger dude in a suit snappin photos and about 10 others.

This is my third attempt to see one take off. If it scrubs tomorrow, it'll likely be Sunday before the next attempt.

Do's and Don'ts (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690532)

DO listen to Rush's Signals the hour before the launch.
DON'T run up and down the causeway yelling "LITE 'ER UP!"

Huh (4, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | about 3 years ago | (#36690546)

Where does this "cmdrtaco" guy get off posting this type of story? You'd think this site was his personal blog or something.

Re:Huh (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | about 3 years ago | (#36691208)

What's the brand they're building, Cmdr. Taco or Slashdot? Headline should read something like "Slashdot visits Kennedy Space Center", and mention in the article that it's Cmdr. Taco who's covering it, IMO.

Re:Huh (1)

majesticmerc (1353125) | about 3 years ago | (#36692652)

Whoosh! [slashdot.org]

Re:Huh (1)

j2kun (2353548) | about 3 years ago | (#36694530)

It could be Barack Obama posting a link to his Twitter, it still doesn't feel like the sort of objective news "story" that we expect on slashdot. Maybe we need a tag called "adventures of slashdot admins." At least then I could filter it out easily.

Re:Huh (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | about 3 years ago | (#36694990)

Yes, I know. Slashdot is well beyond the personal blog stage, as the about page clearly states!

Re:Huh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36692760)

fuck off

Go if you can. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 3 years ago | (#36690568)

If you possibly can, GO. I saw one launch - STS-133. I got the VIP site, but even if you watch it from Titusville it's nothing you'll ever forget.

And to those of you at the Cape: good luck.

I call bullshit (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690598)

A fucktard who doesn't whisper a word unless it's about some comic book shit or some CGI film gets a press pass to a launch? What is this? A fucking joke is what it is.

Real science and technology is dead on Slashdot and CmdrDildo is part of the reason why.

Re:I call bullshit (-1, Redundant)

kuzb (724081) | about 3 years ago | (#36690690)

You hit the nail on the head. Taco is such a douche.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

squidguy (846256) | about 3 years ago | (#36692162)

What he's really going to do is tweet his experience building and launching the gay space exploration ship in some version of Civilization. The shuttle and Cape hype is all a deception!

oh, ok (-1, Troll)

kuzb (724081) | about 3 years ago | (#36690610)

Cmdrtaco. A prime example of irrelevance.

Re:oh, ok (2)

AsmCoder8088 (745645) | about 3 years ago | (#36690912)

Yes, very much like your post is irrelevant in a discussion of the Space Shuttle.

Make Like Dr. Zachary Smith and Stowaway! (3, Funny)

theodp (442580) | about 3 years ago | (#36690656)

Lost in Space [imdb.com] : Doctor Zachary Smith, an agent for an enemy government, is sent to sabotage the mission. He is successful in reprogramming the ship's robot, but in the process becomes trapped on the ship, and because of his excess weight, the ship and all on board become hopelessly lost and it now becomes a fight for survival as the crew tries to find their way back home.

Forget the pictures during launch (1)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | about 3 years ago | (#36690696)

Hey, there will be plenty of pictures from other folk during the launch. Let them take the picture during the launch. I wish I were there. I would stand there and take it all in.

Re:Forget the pictures during launch (1)

manoweb (1993306) | about 3 years ago | (#36690800)

Me too, I would actually take pictures of people taking pictures.

Water? (1)

mustPushCart (1871520) | about 3 years ago | (#36690728)

Why is there a stream of water on the right side tank in the video?

Re:Water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36692780)

IfI had to guess they were probably testing the pumps that send water under the shuttle to reduce vibrations. The water is probably coming out a bypass valve on the tower

Cool picture, high res version? (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | about 3 years ago | (#36690792)

That is a great picture. How about adding a link to the original image?

GEEKS IN SPAAAAACE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36690872)

C'mon, make more of them.

Bring a coat. (3, Interesting)

Zadaz (950521) | about 3 years ago | (#36690880)

If you're going to be in the press observation bunker bring a coat. Before the launch they chill that room to something like 55F. Almost immediately after launch the temp jumps into the 90's from the energy released by the rocket.

Re:Bring a coat. (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 3 years ago | (#36692670)

Really?

Re:Bring a coat. (1)

LordKronos (470910) | about 3 years ago | (#36692806)

If you're going to be in the press observation bunker bring a coat. Before the launch they chill that room to something like 55F. Almost immediately after launch the temp jumps into the 90's from the energy released by the rocket.

Are you serious, or did you make that up (or are you passing along a story someone else made up)? As far as I know, the closest you can get is the press viewing area, and even that's 3 miles from the launch pad (the regular visitor viewing area is 7 miles from the launch pad). I know there is a shitload of energy released from those rockets, but for it to be enough to raise the temperature by 30+ degrees 3 miles away seems a bit unbelievable.

CmdrTaco goes to the Kennedy Space Centre? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 3 years ago | (#36691776)

What kind of wacky adventure will CmdrTaco have next? Tune in next week to find out!

?CUM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36691988)

users of NetBSD schemes. Frankly impaired its are inherently as Little overhead it will be 4mong GAY NIGGERS from propaganda and world's Gay Nigger unpleasant

Worked on Shuttle and Visited KSC Last Month (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36692044)

I worked on the shuttle program at JSC for 7 years and visited KSC last month after a cruise vacation. Unfortunately, I've never seen a launch live and never will.

I left JSC in the mid-90s, but tried to keep my excitement for the space program. I vividly recall getting up to watch the landing of Columbia live. See, I wrote some flight software code that makes the landings much smoother and deals with the nosewheel steering, along with lots of code that we never saw executed during any mission (thankfully!). 2 and 3 engine out stuff. Later, I worked writing software used in all the mission control centers around the world, but mainly at JSC. That job made me feel connected to the crews in a way that developing software in a building across the street from JSC never did. Working "on-site" daily, walking into Building-30 and 30S, was exciting. Running into John Young, Mike Coates or other famous people was an almost daily occurrence. Actually, Mike was my boss for a few years (3 levels above) and heard a few of us arguing about which cycle some bit needed to be flipped to "meet requirements" one day. Doing it right was more costly ... I had to change 3 more "modules" to flip that single bit on the "first pass of OPS2" and any software change was expensive. Think "multi-threaded" programs, but in real-time software. Whether that bit was flipped then or half a second later after the computers were non-responsive for 45 seconds when going into On-Orbit OPS seriously did not matter. Still, the requirements won over being efficient (where it didn't matter at all) - I think this was 1 issue with the entire shuttle program. Changes were pretty costly.

Anyway, the morning that Columbia broke up in 2003, was very traumatic for me. I'd sat in the FCR and worked with the flight controllers years ago and was disconnected by 4 states and 3 private sector jobs. Those first 10 minutes when the shuttle didn't show up on TV after re-entry and there simply wasn't any data ... well, I knew it had broken up and everyone on-board was dead. The first indication of issues were temperatures in the landing gear - I'd written code around the landing gear sensors. There were probably 1,000s of people who did something related to the landing gear.

Anyway, last month as I stood on KSC doing a normal tour that anyone can, I took photos of Atlantis on the pad and saw much of the tourist parts with some family before they had to head off to the airport for flights to different parts of the country. I stayed another 4 hours at the visitor center alone and did everything I could there. I was a little disappointed that it was sorta like a theme park now, it had lost the grimy NASA feeling that I recall walking around behind the scenes at JSC in the different laboratories. Engineers don't usually spend much time on aesthetics. Knowing the shuttle program was ending AND didn't have a follow on project saddened me almost as much as when my father died. As I drove off Merritt Island into the sunset, I actually cried, just a little.

The manned space flight program elevates all humans, just a little. You don't get that from robots. Sure, it costs lots of money, but not nearly as much as not doing it does. The engineer in me says robotics is much cheaper for space exploration. The human in me says without men/women involved, it is just a cartoon, not real.

Mankind **needs** a manned space flight program. I'd hope the USA did it, but other countries have the smarts to accomplish it too. They also have a different culture of risk and a willingness to fail in order to succeed that is lacking in the USA today.

Goodbye shuttle program. I'll be watching Atlantis closely, until she is safely stopped at the end of the runway for the last time.

Re:Worked on Shuttle and Visited KSC Last Month (1)

squidguy (846256) | about 3 years ago | (#36692184)

mod parent up.

MOD GRANDPARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36693458)

That's how you do it.

Ah, Merritt Island... (1)

p4nther2004 (1171621) | about 3 years ago | (#36693550)

People want to believe KSC is on Cape Canaveral...don't believe 'em. Take SR3 North and you'll run right to the 39A & B.

Grew up on Merritt Island...everyone was involved in KSC in some way. Went to Merritt Island High, eventually worked at KSC for a while (left in '97').

I'm flying into Orlando tonight....so if it's not scrubbed, I won't see this launch. This program shutdown is going to hit MI hard. It'll come back, just like it did after Apollo ended...but things are going to get tight over there for a while.

Re:Worked on Shuttle and Visited KSC Last Month (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 3 years ago | (#36695946)

As a young engineer I want to thank you (anonymous as you may be) for the work you did in the space industry. If it weren't for you and your coworkers my generation of space enthusiasts wouldn't have the pages and pages of source material, research documentation, and local engineering wisdom to learn from. Folks like you helped fuel the space industry for the last 30 years, and without folks like you, I wouldn't have an industry to work in right now.

So thank you.

I hope that one day I'll be able to contribute as significantly to the U.S. space program as you did.

I'm getting ready to head there now. (1)

spiderbiten (618187) | about 3 years ago | (#36692300)

I'm just leaving myself to head out to Titusville for the launch. Looking forward to capturing as many pics and videos as I can of the events. Got my handy talky all charged to listen to the rebroadcast on 2 meter.

I Don't Believe You Taco! (1)

Anti Cheat (1749344) | about 3 years ago | (#36692834)

How do we know you are really there? With tech you could easily fake pictures. They could be from anyone.
Soooo... Take a pic of you standing in front of the countdown clock with today's newspaper.

Just Joking. Have fun CmdrTaco. I'm rather jealous of you, especially as it is the last one.
I only got close to flying down there once with a friend. But I'm glad it didn't work out, because it was a cold January day and we lost 7 people that day.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...