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Last NASA Spacewalk Marks End of Era 80

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the put-on-a-hat-it's-cold-out-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Astronauts embarked on the final space walk of the U.S. shuttle era at the International Space Station, where Atlantis is docked on the final mission of the 30-year U.S. program. Atlantis carries a year's worth of supplies — more than 3,600 kilograms — for the International Space Station. It will also bring up a system that will be used by Canada's Dextre robot to test a system for refuelling and repairing spacecraft and satellites in space."
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Last NASA Spacewalk Marks End of Era

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  • How about the end of an era for a father?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZqPQPhsuX4 [youtube.com]

  • Yes, this is the end of an era. It is worth noting, and we should have serious discussions about the future and direction of American space travel. But this is the last space shuttle spacewalk, not the last NASA spacewalk. Who approves these headlines, anyway?

    (NB: the headline comes from TFA, so don't blame /. completely.)

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Who approves these headlines, anyway?"

      People trolling for page hits. If Fox News can do it, so can /.

  • It's our fault our government spends more money on lawyers than on astronauts. I hope the end of the space shuttle program is a tipping point in how involved we are in changing how our government works.
    • by Chrisq (894406)

      It's our fault our government spends more money on lawyers than on astronauts.

      Well if it isn't your fault (collectively) then democracy has failed and the government is not acting in accordance with the will of the people.

      • by PFactor (135319)
        That's pretty much my point. I doubt many Americans WANT a huge department of justice/prison-filling-machine but many Americans continue to go with the status quo instead of demanding change. I'm of the opinion that our democracy is failing principally because the people won't get (and stay) engaged on matters of substance.
        • by skids (119237)

          I blame the people that go around spouting nonsense like "there's no difference between the major political parties" and other cynical non-witticisms. Or in other words, teabaggers.

          • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @10:55AM (#36748658) Journal

            Ya know, that takes some mega sized brass balls to say that when Obama is the pres. How's that Hope & Change thing working out? Oh yeah he Hopes you don't notice the only Change is from an R to a D on the door. I mean this administration actually has the gall to claim the president has the right to assassinate Americans on American soil [salon.com] with NO oversight or trial, and this is irrevocable under "war powers". Dubya didn't have the balls to do that, even Nixon didn't have balls that large!

            Sadly my friend the late great Bill Hicks nailed it more than 20 years ago "Well I believe the puppet on the left shares MY beliefs, well i think the puppet on the right has my interests at heart...hey wait a minute there is one guy controlling both puppets!". Time and time again We, The People have made ourselves heard only to be ignored. We want our borders fixed, we want the wars to end, we want Medicaid/care and aid to the poor left alone, we want taxes to increase on the top 5% and we want companies to stop being rewarded with taxpayer money to close factories and send them overseas like GE did recently. But all you get is two sides to the same coin, and thanks to Citizens United this will only get worse. If you believe either side gives a shit about the American people I have a nice bridge to offer, it goes to nowhere so there is no wear and tear!

            As for TFA I hate to be the one to say it, but good riddance to the shuttle, it is only sad we don't have a replacement that should have been built in 1995. The shuttle was a failure from the start, its original mission statement was for a "space truck" that would allow both the military and NASA to share expenses, to allow cheaper and larger loads into space, and to allow fast turnaround. It failed to live up to that statement which is why the military has been using the Delta V.

            I would argue the only reason it has hung on this long is Sen Porkus and Congressman Kickbackus were using it to "bring jobs to the area!" which is why there was nearly 20 states working on shuttle parts and why congress pushed for reusing shuttle parts when it made no sense on Orion. Both sides of the aisle have long since quit giving a shit if they hurt this nation as long as it suits their personal goals and spreading the shuttle parts like a shotgun blast across the country helped them show they were bringing home that bacon.

            So goodbye shuttle, you did much good work despite failing your original goals and I'm only sorry you weren't put out to pasture years ago and something more practical brought up in your place. maybe we'll have the Delta Vs man rated, hell maybe we should just buy some Soyuz off of Russia. Either way the shuttle should have been in a museum years ago and I hope the astronauts get down safely for this their final ride.

            • I don't disagree with anything you are saying, but I wanted to correct this part:

              It failed to live up to that statement which is why the military has been using the Delta V.

              There is no such thing as a Delta V. There is a Delta IV, and an Atlas V, and the military uses both.

              I just don't want new readers/non-space-enthusiasts to get confused over a typo.

              • by blueturffan (867705) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @01:48PM (#36751730)

                Delta-v has always been an important part of space travel.

                • Delta-v refers to a specific type of velocity imparted upon a vehicle for injecting into any given orbit. The Delta IV is specific type of launch vehicle, as is the Atlas V. The parent, if you read his post, was referring to a, "Delta V," as a vehicle which the military uses, which is utter nonsense as no Delta V vehicle exists. He was not using, "Delta-v," in a context relevant to the particular variable you are referring to.

                  Please try reading before responding next time. And to whoever modded this guy
                  • Please try reading before responding next time. And to whoever modded this guy up, the same goes for you.

                    To paraphrase Robert J. Hanlon, "Never ascribe to ignorance that which is adequately explained by tomfoolery".

                    In the words of that noted philosopher Foghorn Leghorn, "That's a joke, son. A flag waver. You're built too low. The fast ones go over your head. Ya got a hole in your glove. I keep pitchin' 'em and you keep missin' 'em. Ya gotta keep your eye on the ball. Eye. Ball. I almost had a gag, son. Joke, that is."

                    • And that's the beauty of pure-text responses: without any inflection, it becomes very hard to distinguish humor from downright naivete. Still, good one.
            • by c6gunner (950153)

              I mean this administration actually has the gall to claim the president has the right to assassinate Americans on American soil with NO oversight or trial, and this is irrevocable under "war powers".

              You should have studied history, or at least watched some Westerns as a kid. The "Wanted: Dead or Alive" offers have existed for centuries. Claiming that this somehow violates the constitution - or that it's a form of "assassination" unique to the Obama administration - is ignorant beyond belief.

              Sadly my friend the late great Bill Hicks nailed it more than 20 years ago "Well I believe the puppet on the left shares MY beliefs, well i think the puppet on the right has my interests at heart...hey wait a minute there is one guy controlling both puppets!".

              Great, another Alex Jones fanboy. You know that you guys have your own forums, right? You don't need to pollute Slashdot with this bullshit.

              • by hairyfeet (841228)

                Great another koolaid drinker. Instead of giving citations to back up his beliefs he can ONLY throw insults. You have a president that has broken EVER major campaign pledge since taking office, gitmo, the two wars (added a third, yay for the military industrial complex! They'll be getting extra hookers this Xmas pal!) warrantless wiretapping, do you think this kind of major flip flop was just because he ate some bad cheese? he got a big fat fucking check dude, don't delude yourself. he said "How much money?

                • by c6gunner (950153)

                  Oh boy. The woo is strong with this one.

                  If I could find a single clear, rational question in your entire rant, I'd try to answer. I'd probably be wasting my time, but I'd give it a shot. However, much like your idol, you seem to be mixing together dozens of incidents and topics as if they were part or some grand conspiracy, and then spewing it out in one giant heap of vitriol.

                  I like Hicks, I like Carlin, and I don't particularly like Obama, but I can honestly say that you, my friend, are nuttier than squ

                  • by hairyfeet (841228)

                    Let us sum up your post, shall we? Insult insult insult aaaand insult. Is there ANY single answer to what I have pointed out? about the link on the president having the right to murder you, about the complete 180 after he got access to the big checks? anything at all?

                    Nope you hug your blankie and go "that's not true! The TV says its not true! you must be crazy!". Well to borrow from bill again "Go back to sleep, your government is in control. here is reality television. Go back to sleep." Meanwhile I would

                    • by c6gunner (950153)

                      Yea, I didn't actually expect you to take me up on a perfectly reasonable offer. Thanks for the confirmation. Take care.

        • by Osgeld (1900440)

          and its been proven that most do not care about the space program so be careful for what you wish for

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      Its also our fault that after 30 years we are still getting excited over a space walk, cause we let the program stagnate and not progress much if at all since 1978

  • Soon the toilet will flush on the Space Shuttle for the last time. The end of an era.

  • just to be clear (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @09:17AM (#36747530)

    i think that headline might be misleading. just want to be clear: this is not the last ISS spacewalk. The ISS has an airlock and can perform spacewalks with not shuttle support. (In fact, this spacewalk was actually carried out by ISS crewmembers and not shuttle crewmembers). This is, however, the last spacewalk while the shuttle is docked. Others will not have the extra shuttle assets to lean on.

  • Ok. It's ISS crew. Are they not using their own suits? Or did they go over to the shuttle, use their suits and go out their airlock. And if so WHY?

  • End of an era? Yes. But the era that has ended is not just the shuttle program. It is the end of the U.S. Space program. The United States will never be prominent in space again.

    • by egamma (572162)

      End of an era? Yes. But the era that has ended is not just the shuttle program. It is the end of the U.S. Space program. The United States will never be prominent in space again.

      And we'll never need more than 640k of RAM.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      The sky is falling. We must continue legacy systems so we can be trapped by them. The Soviet Union never sleeps. If it doesn't put humans in space it isn't science. If the US doesn't fund most space efforts humanity won't benefit from them.

      Did I miss anything?

    • The United States will never be prominent in space again.

      You show me one other country that has probes exploring the outer planets or landers exploring the inner planets. Go ahead and show me. I'll wait right here.

      Yeah, the U.S. may be retiring a flying 30 year old POS brick that has more potential failure modes than a God damned boat made of Swiss cheese. But how, exactly, that leads to the U.S. failing to be prominent in space when the U.S. is the only country investing in actual space exploration (and not just dicking around in LEO) is completely and utter

  • It's not the Last NASA space walk... It's the last space walk from the Space Shuttle..... I expect better from CmdTaco....

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      It's not the Last NASA space walk... It's the last space walk from the Space Shuttle..... I expect better from CmdTaco....

      Well, it's the last NASA space walk until they design and build an entirely new launch platform. That's, what, a decade or so away? And, if they lose the political will to do it, possibly even longer.

      Once they decommission those shuttles, the US has no capacity to put people into space short of renting it from the Russians (or possibly the Chinese).

      It may not be the case that NASA will

      • by Gravatron (716477)
        COTS would like a word with you. Space X says they can put a man into space in 2-3 years, and they aren't the only company aiming for that.
  • u.s. space shuttle era is ending AND they are about to default on thier debt and plunge deeper into a global financial crisis. Wow, end of the United States empire? I think we may be seeing it.
  • of the American Empire. Towards the end, I think Rome also used all it's money on armies defending rotting, ignored infrastructure.
  • Although space gets most of the attention, arctic and ocean exploration is way down, too. In the 1960s, there was talk of "undersea cities' and "cities under the ice". A few small underwater habitats were even built. The only one still operating, at Key West, is being used as a hotel for divers. No manned submarine has been down in the Marianas Trench since Trieste, in the 1960s.

    That field, too, has been taken over by robots.

  • 30 years of Space Shuttle.... 30 years of Donkey Kong..... Conicidence? I think NOT!!

  • Will there be a headline about the last time someone takes a dump in a space shuttle? We get it.... the program is over.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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