Streams

 

 

Nasa

The Takeaway

NASA Announces New Rocket Design

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just a few months ago, the future of NASA seemed in doubt. But the space agency announced on Wednesday a new rocket design that it says will be the centerpiece of a deep-space exploration program for decades to come. The Space Launch System could lift astronauts farther than ever before, making it eventually possible to journey to Mars.

Comments [1]

C'mon Irene: Live-Blogging the Hurricane

Irene from space

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In case you were wondering just how big Irene is, well she's pretty big.

Click in to the post to see the photo.

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Listen | Transmission From Space: The Lone American Not on Earth During 9/11

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A unique recording will be featured at the 9/11 Memorial Museum when it opens in 2012: Frank Culberston, the only American not on Earth on September 11, 2001, watched the burning towers from the International Space Station.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

After The Takeaway: Celeste Headlee Envisions the Future of Space Travel

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The landing of the space shuttle Atlantis at Cape Canaveral this morning marked the bittersweet end of NASA's 30-year-old shuttle program. In this video, host Celeste Headlee reflects on the legacy of the space shuttle program, remarking that today is a day to honor all those responsible for the success of the program as well as a time to look to the future. Celeste says she's optimistic that we may one day send shuttles to Mars and make visits to asteroids, and suggests that perhaps the contributions of America's very rich will make these dreams a reality.

Read More

Comment

The Takeaway

Neil deGrasse Tyson Reflects on the Space Shuttle Program, 1981-2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The space shuttle Atlantis returned this morning, marking the end of an era. The space shuttle program began with the launch of Columbia on April 12, 1981. The program advanced space exploration into the twenty-first century. Contrary to the Apollo missions, which sparked fierce competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the space shuttle program existed mostly in an era of collaboration and cooperation between nations.

Comments [2]

The Takeaway

Space Travel in the Post-Shuttle Age

Thursday, July 21, 2011

As the space shuttle Atlantis landed this morning, ending NASA's shuttle program after 30 years without another method for astronauts to get into space on American-led missions, some are asking if this is a great leap forward for the space agency, or a small step back for manned space travel.

Comment

The Takeaway

The World's Last Remaining Taxi to Space

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This morning marked the end of the space shuttle era for the nation and the world as the Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. How will astronauts get to space in a world without the shuttle? They will be hitching a ride with the Russians on the Soyuz space craft. The BBC's Oleg Boldyrev has been taking a look at what it's like riding inside of the Soyuz, which American astronauts liken to riding in an old Soviet Lada automobile.

Comment

The Takeaway

Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands, Ending NASA's Shuttle Program

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The mood was bittersweet in Cape Canaveral. this morning, as the space shuttle Atlantis landed, bringing NASA's 30-year-old shuttle program to a close. A permanent marker will be placed on the runway where Atlantis touched down just before 6:00 AM EDT. In its final mission, the 135th of the shuttle program, Atlantis brought supplies to the International Space Station. With the end of the shuttle era, NASA's involvement in future space flight has been called into question.

Comments [3]

The Takeaway

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis Marks End of Era

Friday, July 08, 2011

Today's launch of space shuttle Atlantis marks the last of NASA's manned shuttle missions. With the closing of the shuttle program comes, not only an unclear future for future space exploration, but also a sadness for those aspiring astronauts who have spent years training to go into space. Kate Rubins, a member of the astronaut class of 2009, discusses the implications of the program's end and how she'll be an astronaut in a post-shuttle world.

Comment

The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Future of the Space Program

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute, discusses the future of the U.S. space program now that the last shuttle mission is set to launch.

Comments [3]

Transportation Nation

Atlantis to Fly Final Mission of US Space Shuttle Program

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis (photo by Mark Simpson/WMFE)

(Orlando, WMFE)  The space shuttle Atlantis is sitting at launch pad 39A, waiting for its final mission.

This is not only the final liftoff for this shuttle, but it's the last flight of the United States' 30-year space shuttle program. The four-person crew will be heading to the International Space Station on a resupply mission.

Liftoff is set for Friday, July 8th at 11:26am, but forecasters from the Kennedy Space Center are tracking a weather system which could bring showers and thunderstorms around launch time-- and would ground Atlantis until the weekend.  Record crowds of between 750,000 to 1 million people are expected to flock to Florida’s “Space Coast” for the spectacle.  And NASA is factoring those crowds into its backup liftoff plans. If there are too many people in the area, it could be difficult for shuttle workers to make a 24-hour turnaround to liftoff in the case of bad weather or technical issues.

photo by Mark Simpson/WMFE

This is the 135th space shuttle mission --  and originally it was not scheduled to happen.  The 134th was flown by the Endeavour, and Atlantis was slated to be its rescue shuttle.  Now Atlantis has no backup shuttle to fly to orbit if problems should arise.  The plan is to use Russian Soyuz spacecraft to travel to the International Space Station, but that could leave some astronauts stranded for up to a year.

After Atlantis lands and the shuttle program ends, the US will lose its ability to launch American astronauts into space on American rockets.  Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach said planning for private space companies to pick up some of the launch burden is a good thing, but he lamented that the next US space vehicle is not ready to go.

"If they (astronauts) have a problem, then we can't get to the Space Station, and therefore the Space Station would be in jeopardy after a period of time," he said. "I see it as a policy issue, where you're shutting down a system before the next system is up and running.  If I were in charge --  and I'm not -- but if I were in charge I'd do it the other way.  I wouldn't shut down the shuttle system until the next system was up and running so we could guarantee access to the space station."

photo by Mark Simpson/WMFE

"We're losing a bit of our American identity by shutting the system down," said Leinbach, as he reflected on the final moments of the shuttle era.  "The shuttle is an American icon.  Anywhere in the world if people pay attention to the news and see the Shuttle launch they know that's America launching that Shuttle.  No one else does that, and now we won't either."

He added that the loss of prestige is overshadowed by the large number of people who will be losing their jobs after the shuttle program ends.

Plans for a shuttle-like vehicle reach back to the late 1960s, although it took more than a decade between the initial concepts and the first shuttle launch in 1981. In terms of space transit, the shuttle is unique because of its reusable nature.  Leinbach said originally it was thought NASA would be able to put two shuttles a month into orbit, but the reality was each orbiter could be launched only about twice a year.  Still, the vehicle is special because of its cargo carrying capabilities.  The shuttle's cargo bay is about 60 feet long and has carried payloads like the Hubble Space Telescope and launched numerous satellites into orbit.

You can learn more about the shuttle program, as well as its final mission, over at WMFE.

 

Read More

Comment

The Takeaway

Countdown to Endeavour's Final Launch

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Shuttle Endeavour is set to blast off one last time Monday morning./ The space shuttle will be carrying a $2 billion particle physics detector called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which will search for dark matter. It is an emotional day for commander Mark Kelly, who is heading the mission. His wife, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head is at the launch site. Kelly is carrying a wedding ring into space. Science reporter for The New York Times, Henry Fountain is at the launch.

Comment

Transportation Nation

Space Shuttle Launch Postponed Because of "Technical Problem"

Friday, April 29, 2011

From the AP:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA says it's calling off today's launch of space shuttle Endeavour because of a technical problem. The shuttle was fueled and ready to go on its final mission. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords traveled to Florida to see the liftoff of a mission on which her husband will serve as commander.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

Read More

Comment

The Takeaway

Rep. Wasserman Schultz on Mark Kelly's Space Trip, Gabrielle Giffords

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Space Shuttle Endeavor is schedule to launch at 3:47 PM on today. Big crowds are expected at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida — because this is not any ordinary launch. The 14-day mission will be the Endeavor’s 25th and FINAL voyage and it is the second to last space shuttle launch in the foreseeable future. The program will be ending in June.

Comment

The Takeaway

Wake-Up Song For NASA'S Last Launch

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Since the start of the Apollo program in the 1960s, NASA has woken up its astronauts on the day of their space launch to the time’s most popular songs. Traditionally, the crew members, their family and friends choose the song. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman shot earlier this year, chose U2’s “Beautiful Day” when her then-boyfriend (now husband) Mark Kelly went into space in 2006. Now Mark Kelly is the commander of the space shuttle Endeavor, making its twenty-fifth and final launch this Friday and NASA have invited the public to vote on what song the crew should wake up to. We review the musical eclecticism of past NASA wake-up songs and ask our listeners for their final launch song suggestions.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

First Pictures of Mercury Received on Earth

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photographs of Mercury have come to earth for the first time. The Messenger spacecraft entered Mercury's orbit on March 17 and has just sent back its first batch of photographs. The very first image received shows a crater near the planet's southern pole, an area that has never been seen before. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of "Star Talk Radio." He helps explain why these photos are important.

Comment

Features

Intrepid Museum Fights to Land a Space Shuttle in NYC

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, NASA will announce whether or not the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will receive one of its three shuttles. The Intrepid is one of 21 museums nationwide vying for the chance to exhibit a space shuttle to the astro-minded masses.

Comment

The Takeaway

Discovery's Final Frontier?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When the space shuttle Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center later today, its odometer will read somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000,000 miles. The shuttle has flown 39 missions in its 27 year career. After today's landing, it will retire on planet earth. With Discovery's retirement, an era of American space exploration comes to a close; and, due to political and economic realities at home, future chapters remain in doubt. Yesterday, the US National Research Council reported that two planned rover missions to Mars, which NASA intended to launch along with ESA in 2018, may be about $1 billion outside of the U.S. budget.

Comment

The Takeaway

Discovery's Final Voyage

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today will mark the last launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which made its maiden voyage back in 1984. This starts the countdown to the end of the Space Shuttle program, with final launches of Endeavor and Atlantis scheduled. Was the Shuttle Program worth it? To answer that question is Peter Spotts, science reporter for The Christian Science Monitor.

Comments [1]

The New Yorker: Out Loud

Tad Friend on the asteroid threat

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tad Friend on the asteroid threat.

Comment