The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, March 26, 2012

NASA's Orion: From Factory to Flight

I hear a lot of nonsense about the end of human spaceflight with the end of NASA's Space Shuttle system. This video should prove that false (provided nitwits in Congress don't get their way). I want to remind you that the gap between the last Apollo flight in 1972 and the first Space Shuttle flight in 1981 was nine long years. If Orion stays on target, the window between final Shuttle flight and first crewed Orion launch should be shorter. In the meantime, private space companies are also working on humans to space launch systems and capsules, unlike the situation in the 1970s and early 1980s. So, human spaceflight is far from over for the United States. We are just in the unfortunate lull between the systems. I've lived through this before, hated it, but enjoyed the flights that followed. I just wish we had been able to move forward with deep space flight in parallel with the Shuttle missions. Unfortunately, the folks that fund the programs aren't so far sighted. But, I have to give credit to those politicians who believe in the program and keep it moving forward, even in difficult times. And before you state that tired old line about using the money to support folks back here on earth, let me remind you of that tired old (but always true) retort, all of the money spent is spent on firms and individuals here on earth, providing jobs for many while inspiring all of us, extending our knowledge, and exciting tomorrow's scientists and engineers in the process. The program is well worth the money spent, years involved, and risks taken.

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