For the longest time, I had “See a space shuttle flight” on my TODO list. There is only one more to go and unfortunately, I have not hit it big with a hot web app (90s’), nor a spectacular mobile app (00’s). Thus, there is no spare cash to flit me back and forth to Florida to catch an ever delayed launch (got to keep the day job). So, I’ll have to revise this particular TODO.
Hopefully, with the onset of some really exciting happenings in the commercial space flight arena, I may still get that opportunity to feel the rumble of thousands of pounds of thrust in my bones. SpaceX is leasing out Pad #40 and with the coming the Falcon 9 Heavy, I may get the opp to see a new Lunar or Martian mission push up and out of the gravity well.
And if I do eventually hit it big with the next goldrush in technology (nano?), maybe I’ll be able to afford to not only watch, but participate. Assuming that Mrs. Calrissian will allow me to see the dark side of the moon.
Image from Quest for Stars’ Senatobia-1 Mission: http://twitpic.com/photos/questforstars.
The above image is a concept drawing for the successor to Russia’s Soyuz. Today, Russia announced the winner of the contract to begin building the next-generation space capsule. It will be roomier and capable of entering Lunar orbit! The BBC article where I saw this pic speculates that Russia may be planning for their own moonbase and this new craft will be a big piece in that puzzle.
For many of the past few years, the US government (aka NASA) has dominated the above 100KM mark when it came to human spaceflight. Now, there are a number of nations and private companies wanting to get in on the action:
- China recently carried out their first spacewalk using the Shenzhou design and has its eyes on the moon
- India’s planning to meet us out on the regolith in 2020
- While unmanned, the European’s have proven out the ATV concept
- Space X’s Dragon is slated for a demo launch this year
Constellation is still on track, but there are still questions about what the President plans to do with that project, the Space Shuttle, and the entire future of our manned space program. I’m on pins and needles waiting for a decision!