135 Space Shuttle Missions in 8 Minutes

The early-morning landing at Cape Kennedy today marked the last space shuttle mission. As a tribute to this 30-year program that came to an end today, Nature created a short video that encapsulates all 135 space shuttle missions in just 8 minutes. You can view it in the video panel at right.

With the shuttle program over, what do you think NASA should do next?


Rich Byrnes's picture

NASA attracts the best minds and resources that science has to offer, and they have the respect of the scientific community both public and private, I say leverage this "power" to develop the next generation of manned space vehicles that would allow for deeper space exploration. Imagine vessels fueled by the ubiquitous dark matter of the universe, one that can exploit gravitational field modification for propulsion rather than the somewhat crude and now ancient method of hurling people into space, better known as rocket propulsion or "controlled explosions", how passé, we must do better than this! They must think big, change our paradigms, see current approaches as not good enough, continue to push mankind forward, make science fiction become science fact. Their push in the past has always yielded a great bounty of ancillary and very useful technologies for the World’s consumption. Let’s face it, if NASA doesn’t do this for science advancement, who would?

Go look at all the accomplishments that the shuttle have done. Don't come with that bullshit "waste of trillions of tax dollars" argument. Yes, it's expensive, yes it could probably be more efficient. But remember that we live in a world where most of the world's budget go into war while the worldwide space budget is vastly less. You can use that waste of money argument where they actually have plenty of resources: Military budget.

Rich Byrnes's picture

OK, I missed it, who is arguing that the shuttle program was a "waste of money"? quite the contrary the video clearly shows the benefit of the program.  The first comment in this string is a call for putting much more money into the program so as to advance our scientific knowledge beyond the conventions established in the 20th century.  NASA is probably best suited to make that happen.....  By the way no need for foul language, it only diminishes the counter points being presented and brings the discussion into the gutter....  A place where useful information for mankind is rarely found.