|Space Shuttle Atlantis' final voyage - STS-135|
You know what is even more sad? The federal government spent $20.2 Billion on air conditioning for our two war efforts every year. That is more than NASA's entire annual budget (approx $19 Billion). The shuttle program is dead with no replacement imminent. So very, very sad. Yes, the US government spends more on air conditioning in desert wars than on NASA. I have discussed NASA's budget relative to the rest of the federal government in a previous post: The Federal Budget, NASA and Science Funding.
There has also been some chatter on the 'net and news agencies of the issue of some space junk hitting the space station. As it turns out, the space junk will pose no threat to the ISS or the docked spacecraft. From the space.com article:
"Mission Control has verified that the track of a piece of orbital debris will not be a threat to the International Space Station and space shuttle Atlantis," agency officials said in a statement. "No adjustments to the docked spacecraft’s orbit will be necessary to avoid the debris."So, there it is. ISS is safe. Atlantis is docked and safe. Last shuttle flight, ever.
But, don't despair too much. I don't think manned space exploration will end. I hope it won't anyway.