I suppose I am a child of the Nasa Space Shuttle program.  I can still think back to the wonder and awe of watching the first space shuttle lunch when I was a youngster over 30 years ago.  And, to this day, even with my current schedule, I still found the time to watch the last 15 minutes of the countdown and the shuttle zoom into orbit.  With the internet today, and Nasa TV, watching the shuttle launches live has gotten easier and I still took the time to watch almost every launch.

My favorite parts of watching the space shuttle were listening to the flight director pole the fight operations teams to get a go / no go decision for the launch, and finally, at T-10 seconds, the sparklers ignighting under the main engines to start them and bring them up to full thrust at T-5 fore the launch at T- zero when the solid rocket boosters were lite and away we went into the heavens.

I typically try to be a positive guy, and have a positive look at things, but, I was sad knowing that the United States and Nasa will probably not have an American Launch vehical ready for another 20 years.

With all of the bizaree entitlement programs and foreign wars not in our countries strategic interests that we have paid for over the years, it is completely ludicrous that Nasa did not have the vision or funding for a replacement for the space shuttle.

Over the last 30 years, the parade of Nasa Adminstrators has been asleep at the wheel, and should at least be identified as being wildly incompetent for not driving forward a replacement vehical for the space shuttle. 

The space shuttle was wholely unique in the history of space flight.  The hugh payload bay is amazing.  The abililty to launch the shuttle like a rocket, and land it like an airplane is amazing!   I believe that the space shuttle is one of the most amazing inventions ever in the history of the world.

But, the program also shows what is completely inane in our country and our ability to piss away money.  We spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the space station, and now, have no way for the united states to send repacement parts, supplies or astronauts to the space station.  I predict that in 5 years, we will dump the international space station out of space and into the ocean because we can’t repair a critical component required to keep the space station in space.

And there is the hubble space telescope which has expanded our view into the cosmos.  With the space shuttle, we flew 3 or 4 repair missions where we launched the hubble, and went back to fix key components to keep the hubble alive.  Nasa has already said that on the next catestropic failure on the hubble, they will send it crashing into the ocean, and another chapter of billion dollar scienticific exploration will come to an expensive end.

Nasa should have started designing a new space shuttle 20 years ago, and had the vechical ready to go with the retirement of the space shuttle program.  Imagine apple coming out with the iPad 1, and never designing the next generation technology.  That is unheard of business, but, at Nasa, thats exactly what has happened and we allowed it.

And the cost of human capital in florida is also another tragedy of the shuttle program shutdown.  10,000 or so people will lose their high technololgy jobs associated with United Space Alliance and the Kennedy Space Center.  And what about all of the people who live in the towns surrounding KSC who have businesses that will no longer be frequented during the thrice a year shuttle lunches that bring hundreds of thousands of people to Florida?

I hope that Nasa comes back to its senses and once again dreams of soaring into space.  I certainly hope that they do and can 0nce again “boldly go where no man or women as gone before”.

Final Spsace Shuttle Launch of Atlantis