The NASA Space Shuttle: Mankind’s Greatest Legacy

This month marks the official end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program which over the last three decades served humanity by literally transporting us to the farthest frontiers of space. The Internets is flooded with praises and farewells for these incredible vehicles of human ingenuity and they are one of the proudest achievements of our race. NASA dropped the curtains on the program with the following statement.

After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA’s space shuttle fleet will retire and be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers.

The space shuttles were objects of incredible technological feat, the impact and elegance of which were never more prominently symbolized than the shuttles’ fiery launches. Here is a wonderful short documentary of what goes on during a shuttle launch and how this celebrated chapter in human history came to be, courtesy of NASA and narrated by Captain Kirk a.k.a William Shatner.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlG7W0gkjjE%5D

One cannot look at the human experience with regards to Space without being reminded of the words from Carl Sagan. More than his brilliant expertise on this field, Carl Sagan’s passion for space exploration is what is truly revealing from his insightful and inspiring narrations in Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot. And for the occasion, here is Carl Sagan in his own words giving us the true measure of what the Space Shuttle truly is.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wJYpRJQVbo%5D


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5 thoughts on “The NASA Space Shuttle: Mankind’s Greatest Legacy

  1. Its a awesome machine but when reading more about it, I dont think it was helping in expanding the horizon. It could never travel out of lower earth orbit, so could not be used for moon or mars missions. It was supposed to be repairable but the repairs cost more than the intial vehicle. Also Russia seems to have a lot cheaper solution for a space trucks.

  2. You are right, in terms of distance, the shuttles did not go far, but they have expanded our our knowledge and expertise in manned space travel more than anything we have built. Using the Shuttles, we fixed the Hubble Telescope which celeberated its 22nd year in service yesterday and International Space Station became a monumental reality. The ISS is the only human habitable place we know of outside earth.
    This space stuff has become too expensive for any one country to do ambitious things, so the countries will have pool in their resources to break the next barrier in space exploration. I am just hoping they come up with cheap space travel before we get too old for that.

  3. Space X or Boeing are our best bet now. For a fact the first module of ISS was launched by Russia using their Soyuz. Also the MIR space station in its entirety was launched on Soyuz. The only bad thing about Soyuz is it doesn’t have a soft landing on land. But still Shuttle was the dream. The plane attached to the orange tank makes the whole thing worth it.

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