Space Shuttle Discovery

(Photo Credit: NASA)

The last mission of Discovery is set to launch this Thursday afternoon at 4:50 pm. Given that everything goes well this will be the last mission of space shuttle Discovery. However, there is still a lot of work to be done including a new module that has to be attached and a robot that will be loaded onto International Space Station to assist astronauts. We can look back at the program and see that it has accomplished the task of building ISS, but it wasn’t necessarily the cheapest or fastest program. Looking forward, new technology is coming online that will bridge the gap between the end of the space shuttle program and when we have a new launch capability. The Russians will be giving us a lift to ISS in the meantime. However, this was part of the plan and does not mark the end of U.S. dominance in space exploration, we are just shifting gears and utilizing new technologies. Also, don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.[audio: st20110221.mp3]

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