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Tag: space shuttle


America’s future in space – hitchhiking on Soyuz?

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

America’s manned space program had its tragic bangs – the Challenger and Columbia catastrophes. But it is dying with a pathetic whimper.

With today’s final landing of the space shuttle Atlantis, the United States has dropped out of the astronaut-launching business. Americans will still do stints in the International Space Station, but they’ll be getting there and back aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Those would be the same Russians the United States so proudly bested in the “space race” in the 1960s. What a falling-off there’s been.

In theory, the private sector will pick up where NASA leaves off. Some aerospace companies, such as SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, are investing serious money in launch capacity.

Whether that translates into a real manned space program – as opposed to an occasional novelty flight – is iffy. Throwing satellites into orbit can be safe and profitable, but the risk and expense increase geometrically when astronauts involved.
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One of those shuttles belongs at Museum of Flight

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

NASA will be passing out space shuttles in a year or two. We want one.

By “we,” we mean the Pacific Northwest, a region whose fortunes have been tied to aerospace since William Boeing launched his Model 1 seaplane in 1916.

The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field – which displays more than 80 fascinating and historically significant aircraft – is one of the nation’s great showcases of aviation. As it phases out the shuttle program, NASA is looking for homes for the Atlantis, Enterprise and Endeavour. This is a marriage made

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