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Special Report

The End of the Space Shuttle Program

The space shuttle era draws to a close with the successful launch of shuttle Atlantis

Space & Physics

Final Shuttle Launch Occasions Anxiety about Future of U.S. in Space

There is a certain sense of unreality as I sit this morning at the Kennedy Space Center press site, with Atlantis on the launch pad just over three miles away awaiting its last mission (STS 135), NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver finishing a briefing on NASA's ambitious plans for the future, a hundred enthusiastic young people from all over the country gathered for a "Tweetup" to communicate their impressions of being at a launch—while in Washington, D.C., the House Appropriations Committee apparently is intending today to cut almost $2 billion from NASA's budget...

July 7, 2011 — John M. Logsdon
Policy

Notes from the Ground: One Day to Go to Final Shuttle Launch

Atlantis Launch Notes: July 7, 9:00 A.M.KENNEDY SPACE CENTER—As of now, NASA's final space shuttle launch is still on for Friday at 11:26 A.M. Eastern time, but a gathering storm bearing down on Florida's Space Coast remains a major concern.While waiting on a go/no-go decision from the mission managers yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a little field trip thrown by the people at SpaceX, the builders of the Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule, slated to carry cargo—and later up to seven crew members—to the International Space Station (ISS).Interviews and tours for the press brought me face to face with the Dragon capsule, which, at least in appearance, recalls both Apollo and the new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle...

July 7, 2011 — Michael J. Battaglia
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