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Old 25.02.2011, 05:22
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Boldly going one last time

It's a sad day The final Space Shuttle launch of the Discovery has finally happened.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12573413

I was lucky enough to be in the States at the right time to see a launch. I hope they have a safe mission.

Last edited by kevlegs; 25.02.2011 at 07:50.
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Old 25.02.2011, 06:59
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Re: Boldly going one last time

Well it is circa 30 years old - if you count the age from the first launch. Not many of the Zürich trams remain in service much past 30 - at least not in Switzerland. It had to be put out to pasture some time.

What I find sadder is that NASA don't have anything to replace it with, in fact as far as I'm aware NASA don't currently have a launch capable vehicle (I'm prepared to be corrected on that - I'm not such a fervent space watcher these days)

One thing is sure though: it won't be forgotten in a hurry. A truly iconic design, and a fantastic example of engineering.
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Old 25.02.2011, 07:51
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Re: Boldly going one last time

They will be using Russian rockets for a while
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Old 25.02.2011, 08:53
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Re: Boldly going one last time

I remember going into the school library to watch the launch of the first shuttle on telly. It was one of the moments that kicked off my interest in science and technology.
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Old 25.02.2011, 09:17
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Re: Boldly going one last time

All the years I lived in Florida, it never got "old"... if I was home or somehow in a situation to watch the sky, I'd always go out to watch it. Even though it was miles away, depending upon which way the wind blew, sometimes we could hear (or at least we imagined we could maybe?) the sounds... going and coming though, the sonic boom was plenty loud for all of us, shaking and rattling the windows, hung pictures and the dishes.


There are two launches I remember the most though, one because I was so irritated, the other because it was such a special moment.

The irritation was that it happened that I had to take my grandmother to the airport at Orlando, the drive brought us right to the same stretches of highway used by folks heading to see the launch. The traffic wasn't such a big deal, we get used to it... the thing that was new to me was the tourists who suddenly applied the breaks to park "right there" so they could watch it when they noticed what was going on. I don't begrudge their desire to see it, they really could have done so in a safer way though.

The special one was when Senator John Glenn went up in Discovery. I was working that day but my boss and I went out to watch the launch. Somehow it was amazing, the glow of the rockets brighter maybe, the sky had a strange quality that day anyhow, perfect weather. I just stood and watched with tears rolling down my cheeks and even now, I can't say why I was crying, it just was THAT special.
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Old 25.02.2011, 09:22
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Re: Boldly going one last time

I remember watching the Launches at school too. My dad (when he was an engineer) worked on the original communications systems for Challenger and Columbia. Kinda sad in that repect, but it's what got me into Sci/tech as well.
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