Well the last space shuttle launch ever
happened this morning: the Atlantis and a crew of 4 launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida at about 11:30 Eastern Time. It's like how the Apollo missions ended: NASA will go quiet for a while until a new type of space shuttle is designed. Sad how the program that has been going on for 30 years is about to end.
Discuss your opinions about all of this.
Well, it's not the last one ever.
It's supposed to be the last one by NASA; I guess everyone's kinda hoping it'll just go commercial, now. Personally, I disagree with this; we've only landed people on the moon, so far. Ventures to Mars, for example, shouldn't be left up to commercial companies. There's so much more to document and explore in our solar system that it just seems like a bad idea to me.
Of course, there's also the fact that many little boys, at some point want to be an astronaut. I mean, it's not like that's gone away, but it won't ever be the same for them or for astronauts/cosmonauts (not sure of the difference, tbh). So, although it opens up a lot of opportunities, it also kinda takes away from the prestige of it all, I guess.
What are space programs (NASA-equivalents) for other countries doing right now?? Does anybody know if other ones are shutting down??