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Shuttle Atlantis Docks With International Space Station For the Last Time

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the since-we-were-in-the-neighborhood dept.

Space 91

The BBC reports, with video, that the shuttle Atlantis "has docked with the International Space Station for the final time. The shuttle has brought a year's supply of food and around two tonnes of other supplies and spare parts to the ISS," where the shuttle will remain docked for at least seven days.

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so... (2)

buanzo (542591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713068)

how are more supplies going to get there?

Re:so... (-1, Offtopic)

buanzo (542591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713074)

second first post i've made today and AGAIN didn't notice. rofl

russia (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713086)

russia

Re:russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713124)

russia

All this time they could have gotten to the Space Station through Russia instead of launching the Space Shuttle! Billions and billions could have been saved by just going through Russia!

Heads needs to roll!

What next, am I going to find out that we could get to Mars via Antarctica!?

Re:so... (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713096)

The same way Mir got them - Soyuz and Progress rockets, maybe the odd ESA rocket, too.

Re:so... (2)

rishistar (662278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713142)

I believe the Shuttle has a larger cargo bay than standard alternative mechanisms for carrying stuff up to the ISS, which is why this last mission is so mundane in the cargo its carrying.

Re:so... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714142)

Shuttle can launch about 4 times more than Soyuz and Progress rockets - but is probably more than 4 times as expensive per launch, so that doesn't help the argument much.

Re:so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36714296)

wrong. a shuttle flight is 100 times more expensive than a good old soyuz

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36716786)

GP wasn't really wrong, just off in terms of scale (assuming parent post's number is valid) - you'll notice they said "more than 4 times".

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36717814)

correct. a shuttle flight is 100 times more expensive than a good old soyuz

Fixed that one for you..

The person you replied to said "...[Space Shuttle] is probably more than 4 times as expensive per launch..."

You asserted that a Shuttle flight is 100 times more expensive than a Soyuz. Last I checked 100 is greater than 4, therefore the poster's assumption of cost is correct under your model. English is tricky, but this is reading comprehension 101...

Re:so... (1)

BranMan (29917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36724662)

It may be correct English, but is something of a lie of omission. If a lawyer told you a cost was "more than 4" and it was really 100 you'd want to string that lawyer up on a lamppost. And I'd help. So "more than 4" is incorrect, even if technically correct.

I have spoken.

Re:so... (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713154)

It's kind of interesting that the Space Shuttle was what was supposed to make going to space reliable and routine, as an advance from the previous single-use capsule technologies, which were expensive and could only be used once each.

But for a variety of reasons, it turned out that the Space Shuttle remained fairly expensive and complex to launch, while capsules became reliable and cheap enough to be a routine way of getting people and stuff to/from space.

Re:so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36717392)

It's kind of interesting that the Space Shuttle was what was supposed to make going to space reliable and routine, as an advance from the previous single-use capsule technologies, which were expensive and could only be used once each.

But for a variety of reasons, it turned out that the Space Shuttle remained fairly expensive and complex to launch, while capsules became reliable and cheap enough to be a routine way of getting people and stuff to/from space.

That "variety of reasons" consisted largely, almost entirely, of budget people and politicians not listening to the engineers who were working on the project. Not that different from today, really. If you want to mess something up, go get a bunch of finance and political people involved in it. Then, when the predictable happens, say that the project was "too complex" or some other nonsense. Of course, now that we know what works and what doesn't work with this kind of concept, we could maybe, uh, go design and build a new one that has as many advantages and as few disadvantages as we could arrange. Nah--that doesn't make any sense. Let's just go back to building throw-away spacecraft. Imagine having to throw a 737 away every time you needed one...

If we ever want space travel to even approach "routine", we need to have a method of getting there that's not fundamentally crazy. The Shuttle was a great idea utterly ruined by people with poor vision, and yet the NASA folks who actually had to do the work managed to do pretty well with what they were given, 30 years being nothing to sneeze at. Listening to engineers operationally and ignoring "management" would have saved at least one crew that was lost, by the way. Enough of letting humanity's future be decided by finances and politics already. I know I'm dreaming, but so were people who thought about flying in space in the first place way back when. We've devolved to the pathetic now and we need to claw our way back up again.

Re:so... (3, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713288)

Look up European ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle)

are you sure it isn't a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36717222)

....ATV Vehicle?

Re:are you sure it isn't a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36718772)

A-yup, I'm sure.

Re:so... (3, Informative)

Zorpheus (857617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713296)

There is a nice list on [a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Docking_schedule]Wikipedia[/a].
It is not only the Russian Progress and the European ATV, but the Japanese HTV, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and something called Cygnus. Payloads are 7t for ATV, 6t for HTV, 6t for Dragon, 2.6t for Progress, 2.7t for Cygnus.

Re:so... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36717352)

There is a nice list on [a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Docking_schedule]Wikipedia[/a]. It is not only the Russian Progress and the European ATV, but the Japanese HTV, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and something called Cygnus. Payloads are 7t for ATV, 6t for HTV, 6t for Dragon, 2.6t for Progress, 2.7t for Cygnus.

You've got to use the angle brackets (< >) instead of square brackets when linking, my friend.

Like this:
<a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Docking_schedule>Wikipedia</a>

not
[a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Docking_schedule]Wikipedia[/a].

See?:Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

BTW, as a side note, only the Dragon capsule will have any sort of downmass capability.

Re:so... (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36715672)

troll?!?! wtf! legitimate question, not flamebait. :(

Re:so... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36718680)

how are more supplies going to get there?

The majority are going to be delivered by the ATV for the next 4 years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_Transfer_Vehicle [wikipedia.org]

This will actually have advantages as the station is currently at a slightly lower altitude than would be ideal in order for the shuttle to reach it. As for beyond 2015, this is not really decided as the station was originally planned for de-orbiting then anyway. Bush was very keen on seeing it down and had planned to remove the US bits then regardless and concentrate on US only ventures. Russia definitely wants to keep it going beyond then and has plans to keep there bits up regardless of if the rest is gone. Obama has now opened up to the idea of keeping the ISS up a little bit longer too.

It seems that delivering supplies to the ISS is not going to be the big problem without the shuttle, the big issue is going to be what the shuttle was really designed for: Ferrying people there and back.

Re:so... (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36719464)

thank you!

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713090)

no one cares you roody-poo

Yep (0)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713126)

Nothing like breakup sex...

Re:Yep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713186)

This is why they put a woman on the last flight of the space shuttle. Someone has to help those guys spunk up the shuttle cabin as a preservative. Secks is the only reason why womenz are allowed in space. Oh and sammiches.

Re:Yep (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713410)

Yay, thanks for taking my silly joke about docking and making it sound disgusting and sexist, ass clown.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713482)

no problem amigo. maybe laying off teh funny would suit you well.

Re:Yep (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713808)

Clowns everywhere are disappointed at your "ass clown" slur you insensitive clod (with the possible exception of that one in Tripping the Rift).

Re:Yep (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714536)

It's not a clown slur, it's a Michael Bolton slur. So, as long as your name isn't Michael Bolton, there's nothing to worry about...

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36717092)

Joke fail when you have to defend your joke. I'm sure it was funny to you when you wrote it.

Last flight. We get it already. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713170)

Yes, this is the last shuttle flight.

We had the last launch.
This is the last docking.
Up next are the last undocking, last reentry, last landing, last move to final resting place. Last meal? Last piss/dump on the space shuttle?

Yes, it is regrettable, but this is the last flight. A lot of things they do will be the last time.

Re:Last flight. We get it already. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713224)

Ending an old, legacy system which gobbled up the space budget isn't "regrettable".

We could have sent hundreds of remotely manned probes into space and actually done some exploration instead of wasting time in LEO.

Let OTHER countries blow their money on manned penis-waving missions instead.

Re:Last flight. We get it already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713266)

The space shuttles will be kept in a readiness state. This way, when an asstroid comes at us, Bruce Willis can save the people of earth, to the soundtrack of Aerosmith. He will make the ultimate sacrifice, so his daughter can get married to an oil rig worker. Again, Aerosmith will play at their wedding. wait wut?

Re:Last flight. We get it already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36715204)

>Let OTHER countries blow their money on manned penis-waving missions instead.

Penis-waving is what gets those expensive missions funded by elected officials looking for ways to entertain taxpayers. Basic research might be sensible, but it has basically zero sex appeal to American taxpayers, and by extension, gets basically zero support from elected officials in congress.

America's space program (and Russia's, and every other country's, for that matter) is roughly 50% research/exploration, and 50% penis-waving public-relations entertainment for the taxpayers funding it. You can deride the 'entertainment' part as 'penis-waving waste', but any attempt to cut it ends up cutting the other half of the equation too.

NASA's problem was that they allowed the shuttle to become mundane and boring. SpaceX can break NASA's puritanical anti-fun taboo and turn launches into fun-filled, celebrity-packed televised events with more vodka & Redbull than a Soyuz launch. Make the tourists happy, and their elected representatives in Congress will be happy. When Congress is happy, space exploration gets more funding. Epic win. ;-)

Re:Last flight. We get it already. (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36726966)

Remote science probes are an adjunct - not the main mission. Yet some folks just don't get it.

The problem is, if there aren't people in the mix, a whole lot of us just don't find a whole lot of inspiration in your idea of space utopia.

You say we should let other countries do the so called "penis waving". We can blow a whole lot less money if we don't ever launch anything again, manned or science mission. Look how much money we just saved now. Without a manned presence in space, I support a NASA budget of $0.00. With a manned presence, I support just about anything they want, manned and unmanned. And there are a lot of us who think that way.

Re:Last flight. We get it already. (1)

Nehmo (757404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716290)

Yes, this is the last shuttle flight.

We had the last launch. This is the last docking. Up next are the last undocking, last reentry, last landing, last move to final resting place. Last meal? Last piss/dump on the space shuttle?

Yes, it is regrettable, but this is the last flight. A lot of things they do will be the last time.

I know. What we really need is a last "Last Shuttle (something)".

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713210)

Somebody DOESN'T "know" what docking [urbandictionary.com] is...

APK

PS => Although the SHUTTLE and ISS are phallic...

Re:lol (1)

lyml (1200795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713404)

Yes, that's where the crude simile comes from. You are docking your penis with another persons penis, just like you dock a spaceship with a space station.

This is equally retarded to someone complaining about using the terms pitcher [urbandictionary.com] or catcher [urbandictionary.com] when discussing baseball.

Maybe we need a generic thread... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713290)

... titled along the lines of:

.
Shuttle Atlantis [insert verb or verb phrase here] for the last time.

Re:Maybe we need a generic thread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36716648)

... titled along the lines of:

.

Shuttle Atlantis [insert verb or verb phrase here] for the last time.

My default verb for situations like this is "fucks"

Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle program (0, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713332)

This is my humble request:

Taking stock of the 30 years of the shuttle program. I mean, I would like to know the benefits directly linked to the decades of this program.

The stock should include among other metrics; how much tax payer dollars have been sunk into the program, how else these dollars could have been used, what benefits we've obtained as a nation, any missed opportunities and other benefits if any. Specifically, I would like to see tangible things that can directly be attributed to the presence of the shuttle program.

Here's my take: There is not much we have benefited. I other words, the USA would not be that worse of if the shuttle program never existed.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713366)

This is my humble request:

Taking stock of the 30 years of the shuttle program. I mean, I would like to know the benefits directly linked to the decades of this program.

The stock should include among other metrics; how much tax payer dollars have been sunk into the program, how else these dollars could have been used, what benefits we've obtained as a nation, any missed opportunities and other benefits if any. Specifically, I would like to see tangible things that can directly be attributed to the presence of the shuttle program.

Here's my take: There is not much we have benefited. I other words, the USA would not be that worse of if the shuttle program never existed.

You are *so* right. With the approximately $200 billion that we spent on almost 30 years of space science, we could have bought: One failed insurance company!

Oh wait, we did. Yeah, given the choice between owning a failed insurance company (AIG in case you hadn't guessed), and contributing 30 years of spaceflight to the world, I think I am going to have to go with the shuttle program on this one.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713668)

You gotta love false dichotomies. Either you are for the shuttle or you are for welfare to billionaires. Brilliant!

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713718)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36714690)

"...given the choice between owning a failed insurance company (AIG in case you hadn't guessed), and contributing 30 years of spaceflight to the world, I think I am going to have to go with the shuttle program on this one."

YOU are an IDIOT, "jeffmeden".

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713372)

Bullshit, this isn't something that you can assign a few bean counters to and end up with a meaningful number. What about the various engineers that got fired up about creating the shuttle? Or the many children that grew up wanting to pilot the shuttle that grew up to be scientists?

This isn't something that you can readily tally up and deem to be unprofitable. There's areas like battery technology which received a huge boost because of research that NASA was doing, not to mention air and water filtration technology.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (4, Insightful)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713388)

Here's my take: There is not much we have benefited. I other words, the USA would not be that worse of if the shuttle program never existed.

Tell that to every scientist that watched a space shuttle launch as a child and was inspired to learn. Not all rewards are obvious and tangible.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716618)

Tell that to every scientist that watched a space shuttle launch as a child and was inspired to learn.

And? I bet we could have bought "inspiration" for a lot less than was spent on the Shuttle. The fundamental rebuttal to sentiments such as you express is opportunity cost. When intangible benefits are given an arbitrarily high price tag, then they become very expensive to obtain.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716630)

And what about every serial rapist who watched the space shuttle launch as a child and was inspired to rape and kill?

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#36718632)

How does a space shuttle launch inspire rape?

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36718942)

Phallic symbolism, of course!

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (2)

ubergamer1337 (912210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713392)

If you're looking for tangibles, you can try this:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-07/ten-tech-innovations-nasas-space-shuttle-trickled-down-non-astronauts [popsci.com]

But in reality, the entire benefit of the space shuttle program isn't just in "stuff". Lots of the benefits can't be boiled down into metrics, like inspiring children, boosting national pride, etc. I'm not going to claim that with these benefits the shuttles were worth their cost, but you're missing a lot of the point if you only look at the tangibles.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713574)

Meh. Highly specialized requirements + unlimited funding = try to justify with a non-space use. Looking at the list I'm unimpressed. If Goodyear wanted tires that have a 10,000 mile greater tread life I think they could have done that independently.

1. Baby formula with supplement
2. Goodyear tires with additional 10,000 mile tread life
3. Tiny pump
4. Better tuna nets
6. Rescue equipment (think better jaws of life)
7. Biodegradable commercial lubricant
8. Better insulation
9. Infrared camera
10. Possible Solutions for Osteoporosis Patients

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713396)

Go study the effects of the Shuttle Programme on advanced themoceramics and C-C heat shielding, including industrial uses.

And then go fuck off, you ignorant twit.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713402)

http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/pdf/AIAA-2010-8885-305.pdf [nasa.gov]

Not really much considering the cost. All of the benefits mentioned could probably have been developed separately for 10-50 million in R&D.

The shuttle however was important in launching, and then repairing, the Hubble. It also has been crucial to the ISS. So I think any full accounting of what has been spun off by the shuttle would have to include some credit for anything that resulted from the Hubble or ISS.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1, Flamebait)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713576)

Taking stock of the 30 years of the shuttle program...how else these dollars could have been used...

The cost of the shuttle program over 30 years ($196 billion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_program [wikipedia.org] ) could have funded 0.163 wars in Iraq and Bumfuckistan ($1,218 billion - http://costofwar.com/en/ [costofwar.com] ). A much worthier cause, killing brown people, no?

There is not much we have benefited.

You must be a card carrying Republicantard, or at least, a bible humper.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713680)

Fine, pick and choose your comparisons. How many teachers, policemen, and education programs for at risk youth could we have bought?

http://www.idlewords.com/2005/08/a_rocket_to_nowhere.htm [idlewords.com]

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36714374)

Fuck "at risk youth", they're already dragging society down.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36718762)

Taking stock of the 30 years of the shuttle program...how else these dollars could have been used...

The cost of the shuttle program over 30 years ($196 billion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_program [wikipedia.org] ) could have funded 0.163 wars in Iraq and Bumfuckistan ($1,218 billion - http://costofwar.com/en/ [costofwar.com] ). A much worthier cause, killing brown people, no?

There is not much we have benefited.

You must be a card carrying Republicantard, or at least, a bible humper.

Its a shame you used that word to describe Afghanistan, it no doubt gave someone an excuse to down mod your post as flamebait even though you are actually making a very worthy point: The amount we spend on wars far exceeds the amounts we spend on space exploration, especially when you consider that the money spent on Shuttles took 30 years whereas we have spent the money on Afghanistan and Iraq far more quickly.

Also, insulting all republicans probably didn't help your point. Hopefully this post will now actually show up to people browsing at 1 and above so they can still see your post and make up their own minds. In future though, you might want to try and make the same point in a more level headed manner if you actually want to convince anyone that your point has any merit.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36715096)

Dey shood haf invested da moniez in Open Sorez! We all need 1 more PHP CMS, that wud be da awesum investment, all govming moniez shud be put into da PHP Open Sores cuz web coderz are sooo brilliant and know about everyfink

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36715114)

Let me guess, you have an MBA, and your children have to justify why they should receive love and support from you.

The benefits of the space programme are numerous, and the funding is a drop in the bucket financially compared to most things the US sinks money that don't have to "justify" themselves nearly as much.

The shuttle itself is a big bus that was expensive to run, but we didn't start out making cars that released no pollution, had high reliability and could be effectively mass produced, did we?

Just off the top of my head, there are composites used in the motorsport and regular auto industries that came directly from NASA research. So I'll submit "modern cars that use composites" as a "tangible thing" that can directly linked back to the shuttle.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36715362)

Another angle to look at, that maybe the population on /. is now too young to have experienced:

The Cold War.

Part of what the Shuttle Program represented was American ingenuity, pride, craftsmanship and patriotism. At the time, the Shuttle was top titty when it came to LEO and space exploration. The Soviet Mir was great too, but the Shuttle is what America had. Many here have mentioned the youth that was inspired by the Shuttle Program to become scientists and engineers. This is true (and good, really) and it is complemented by a big fat "we're still beating those Commie Reds" as well.

Re:Taking stock of the decades of the shuttle prog (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36718578)

While I think the Space Shuttle was perhaps not the best way of achieving the last 30 years of US manned spaceflight... it does sound like you know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. A programme like the Shuttle should not be measured purely on tangible profit and loss, there's more to it than that.

Here's an idea... (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713362)

Why not just leave the shuttle there? It went up with just 4 astronauts, surely a soyuz capsule can bring them back. Let's just leave the shuttle there as a large-scale escape pod and science area. Why not do that with all the shuttles? Do we really need that many of them showing up in museums? Is the shuttle any less space-worth over the long term than the rest of the ISS?

Re:Here's an idea... (2)

ubergamer1337 (912210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713422)

I'm not an expert, but I don't think the shuttle was designed for staying in space for more than about a month or so at a time. For one thing, it leaks oxygen. I don't think the space station is capable of supplying enough power right now to keep it operational when the power cells on the shuttle run dry.

Re:Here's an idea... (2)

plaukas pyragely (1630517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713552)

To add: additional mass to move (ie more fuel required) when adjusting orbit. ISS is about 420 tones and fully loaded Space Shuttle Orbiter can weight up to 110 tones (hope I picked up correct figures from Wikipedia...).

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36716334)

Quite the opposite, the station provides the shuttles fuel cells with a charge so it can stay up longer. Power is not a typical constraint.

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36719614)

And, Atlantis is the only shuttle that does not have the capability to draw power from ISS at all. :(

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713596)

Because it would cost more money to keep it flight-ready in space than on the ground. And we've already seen what one uncontrolled re-entry looks like.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713862)

As others have pointed out it leaks like a sieve compared to the space station and once the power cells on it go you better have a way to power it up if you need to bring it back down.

That said though I could easily see decompressing it for storage then sending up a "sealing team" and/or supplies to make it a permanent part of the station at a later date.

Can't do much about the added mass though and it definitely would make a difference to station-keeping. Maybe strip anything that's not a control/flight related mechanism out of it?

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36714088)

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/fonzm/why_doesnt_nasa_leave_a_shuttle_in_orbit_attached/c1hhz90

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36717314)

It went up with just 4 astronauts, surely a soyuz capsule can bring them back.

It'd have to be organized a bit better. A Soyuz can only carry three astronauts.

Let's just leave the shuttle there as a large-scale escape pod and science area. Why not do that with all the shuttles?

First, ISS may not have the capability to supply oxygen to that much space. Second, if you've seen the Shuttle docked with ISS, it takes up a lot of room. Third, if the Shuttle is docked, that's one less docking port you have for a Soyuz Capsule.

It's a cool idea, don't get me wrong. But I don't think it's worth spending the money on the Shuttle to turn it into a space station component.

My attitude, it's time for NASA to get out of LEO. Personally, I think it'd be interesting to get NASA out of ISS and have it run by NSF maybe.

Re:Here's an idea... (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36717406)

A shuttle is not just something that you can park in space. Certain elements need to be kept warm. Others need to be kept pressurized. That means the shuttle must be kept running. The shuttle gets its power from fuel cells which "burn" hydrogen and oxygen. The standard shuttle (such as Atlantis) can operate for about ten days. Endeavour and Columbia are the only two shuttles equipped with extended duration fuel tanks. There is a system by which the shuttle can be powered from the space station's power, but Atlantis is not equipped with that system.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36718814)

Why not just leave the shuttle there? It went up with just 4 astronauts, surely a soyuz capsule can bring them back. Let's just leave the shuttle there as a large-scale escape pod and science area. Why not do that with all the shuttles? Do we really need that many of them showing up in museums? Is the shuttle any less space-worth over the long term than the rest of the ISS?

Because then it might fall into the wrong hands. I bet China would love to get their hands on one even now and in a few years Russia might be the only partner of the ISS consortium keeping their bits up. In that case they could always try sending the docked shuttle back to earth and then selling it to China to fund their continued program.

China would then do what they have been brilliant at lately, they would copy all the technology they could via disassembly and use it to kick start their own project. They would no doubt do it in such a way that they kept as much of the expertise as possible in house.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36722066)

Why not just leave the shuttle there?

Skylab.

Last bus leaving the station... (0)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713626)

Ok, so the last space shuttle ever is dropping off supplies, food and parts, for the guys on Space Station Alpha (aka International Space Station). Ever wonder how they are going to get home? Jumping out really isn't an answer.

(I know, they'll have the euro thing send up a rocket or something. Or maybe they'll use the escape capsule, assuming they ever got it up and working. Last I heard it wasn't, but it's not like the news reports on that stuff much. But even so, can you imagine what'll be running through their minds when the shuttle leaves?)

Re:Last bus leaving the station... (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713972)

"finally... some peace and quiet!"

Re:Last bus leaving the station... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714208)

Guess they'll go home the same way they came up... using the Soyuz capsule.

Waaah waaaah (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36713866)

Pork laden flying deathtrap...

Shuttle Atlantis Dances the Lambada for the Last Time!

Re:Waaah waaaah (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716930)

we don't know yet if it will finish this dance, or kill again.

Everything is the "last time" (1)

Starfleet Command (936772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714270)

LOL, I wonder if they will be saying "Shuttle commander uses shuttle toilet for last time ever...."

Standing out last time "News" (2)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714596)

* Last time Astronauts leaving shuttle and entering ISS
* Last time reentering the shuttle
* Last time use of a space toothbrush on a shuttle
* Last time use of shuttle toilet
* Last time farted on the shuttle
* Last time hit by a pillow after farting in the shuttle
* Last time energy bar picked from astronaut A consumed by astronaut B as a revenge action due to the fart thing earlier

Re:Standing out last time "News" (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716950)

I would argue against a couple of your points if that russian-roulette death contraption acts up again. If it burns up, no last re-entry, and it'll be "crew doesn't get to use toilet for last time as they foul their britches upon breakup". But you'd get a new list of "last killed by shuttle".

No sympathy here, that POS is a known killer.

"Out Standing in the field" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36721030)

The good news is now they can drink that recycled urine after those sweaty workouts..

Re:Standing out last time "News" (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36726974)

Last not very funny last shuttle comment?

Re:Standing out last time "News" (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36727032)

I am absolute sure that the last not very funny last shuttle comment will not be determined by any other last shuttle activity. ;-)

Re:Standing out last time "News" (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728068)

I just had a thought - is that dumb habit of some who want to post "First!" going to be supplanted by "Last!" posts?

Last Landing (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36714628)

I am waiting for the news: Atlantis landed successfully for the last time. All other last time message are just useless. Just hope they get back safely in that flea trap.

Leave it up there? (1)

itamblyn (867415) | more than 3 years ago | (#36717368)

Why didn't they just keep the shuttles up in space when they were done with them? They could have been used as extra rooms on ISS, a new lab, etc etc.

Re:Leave it up there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36718006)

THIS.
I wondered the same thing my self.

Dropping off the Space Roombas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720928)

The first 100 missions of the Space Shuttle were actually Military missions, which is why a large chunk of the information is missing. Unless there is real spaceships.
Clump all the spent rocket parts together and use some zip strips to hold them together with a short tether attached Then you only have to dodge one object, or pull one tether. Even if you were going to ue the death ray on it, you would want it all clumped together first.

Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36725468)

It's about time NASA got done with this shuttle crap. Now they can concentrate on their real mission, making the Muslim people feel good about their contributions to science and engineering.

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