Posts Tagged ‘STS’

Gabrielle Giffords to be at the Final Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 27, 2011

Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head on January 8, 2011 and has been in recovery ever since.  She has recovered at an unprecedented rate and is expected to be at the final launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor in Cape Canaveral, Florida which her husband, Mark Kelly, is commanding, on Friday.  Giffords is said to be slowly regaining her speech, and she can even walk short distances.  Despite sustaining an injury that is typically fatal in most cases, doctors are amazed at how well she is doing in this short time span.

Dr. Dong Kim explained that there is no medical reason that would stop her from traveling safely to Florida to be at the final launch with her husband.  The flight will last fourteen days and takes off at 3:47 PM on Friday, April 29, 2011.  It will be NASA’s 134th mission and the Endeavor’s 25th and final flight.  After the Endeavor safely returns to Earth, it will be put on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Giffords is said to be perfectly fine with her husband taking off on this flight.  Mark Kelly said he wouldn’t be going without her consent; however, her speedy recovery reassures him that she will be fine.

Update: The scheduled April 29 flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, which was “scuttled after a heater in one of the ship’s hydraulic power generators failed”, was duly rescheduled.  On May 16, 2011, at 8:56AM EDT, Endeavour took off for NASA’s penultimate shuttle flight.

Watch the maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-49, which took place on May 7, 1992.

National Geographic has posted a small sample of photos featuring the shuttle, each one breathtaking in their own right.

Space Shuttle Pictures: 12 Endeavour Images to Remember

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Taylor P.

Where is the Space Shuttle Endeavour Headed?

April 21, 2011

After making its final flight in April 2011, the Space Shuttle Endeavour will take up permanent residency at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  It won’t be an easy transport but definitely worth it to those who live in California.  The estimated cost to move the 75-ton Space Shuttle is about $29 million.  On top of that, a special exhibit showroom will be constructed at the center.  Although the exhibit won’t be complete for at least five years, I’m sure many are looking forward to standing next to this amazing spacecraft up close and personal.  The Space Shuttle Endeavour has one last mission to fly but so far, it has already traveled 115.5 million miles and has spent 280 days, 9 1/2 hours in space.  In June, NASA’s Space Shuttle program will end with the Space Shuttle Alantis’ last flight.

NASA's Space Shuttle Program is ending in 2011 with Space Shuttle Endeavour's and Atlantis' last flight.Brendan Kownacki, director of Strategic Innovation for Merge Creative Media in Washington, once said that the Space Shuttles are an important symbol.  “The Space Race with the Russians began as a sign of technical savvy and nationalism, and has yielded dozens upon dozens of inventions and technological advancements.  I think the shuttles represent innovation and imagination and the idea that America has a bright future beyond what we see or know or can grasp.”  I agree with his statement very much and am glad that the Space Shuttle Endeavour will be placed at a center so close to home.  Many worked on making the shuttles a reality and I am proud to say that my father was one of those people.  I feel that everyone who was involved in making the shuttle deserves special recognition.  Even though the Space Shuttle program will be ending this June, the opportunities that came from it will endure for generations to come.

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Joie Montoya

 

Through the Troposphere, Stratosphere, Thermosphere and into Outer Space!

January 27, 2011

When someone brings up the topic of aerospace, what usually comes to mind?  It is not a commonly discussed subject for most people.  It’s understandable because, over the years, aerospace has waxed and waned in popularity.  Aerospace was a frequent topic of discussion as I was growing up since my father, president of Spacetron Metal Bellows, was in the Aerospace Industry.  Hearing about the shuttle launches, new launch vehicle ideas, and satellite landings were not out of the ordinary for me.  I find aerospace very interesting but misunderstood in its importance.  Many people think that investing time or money in aerospace is unnecessary.  They don’t see the benefits that result from years of research and development that scientists and engineers have put into it.  The truth is, there are many short- and long-term benefits that result from learning about aerospace.  For example, the people who have been able to obtain jobs in this field have conducted experiments such as growing vegetation in space or testing different vaccines.  They also discovered a new outlook on travel.

The popularity of and support for aerospace has waxed and waned over the years due to the economy and administration in the White House.  The discoveries made by going into space won't end with the Space Shuttle's final flight.Space travel has expanded greatly over the years.  It started off as a simple dream to, one day, fly into the open sky.  Before long, we pushed our limits and sought to go as high as possible.  Finally, we went past the sky and entered into a whole new world: outer space.  We achieved spaceflight by breaking it down into different phases.  Starting with spaceports, engineers were able to test space vehicles and come to conclusions about how they would be launched.  With the space vehicles completed, launch pads were prepared next.  After everything was ready, it was time for lift-off.  The space vehicle launched into the air, achieving very high velocities, and broke through the atmosphere.  With the development of a fleet of Space Shuttles, we were fortunate enough to go into space quite frequently.  According to the Associated Press article by Seth Borenstein, the 135th and last shuttle flight will take place this year.  Although it may be the last time the Space Shuttle takes flight, it doesn’t mean that space flight ends here.  Advances in technology will allow us to travel to space faster and cheaper than before, as well as make new discoveries, so get ready.  You could be the next one visiting outer space!

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Joie Montoya