That night staying up till the early hours in the morning and didn’t get to sleep till roughly fourish in the morning. watching the last launch of the Space Shuttle programme on NASA TV on ustreamTV. It was ionic sad really that a there’s no transitional vehicle program to immediately to replace it within straight after. But least a year or so we’ll have to wait till when Space X with their Dragon and Falcon heavy or Boeing’s Orion and using the Shuttle’s heritage design to replace the role of the Shuttle.
Looking back when back in the early Eighty’s, that is the late twentieth Century on the date of April 21 1981. Watching on the Phillp’s K9 Cathode Ray Tube color television set where TVNZ, was live broadcasting the live launch of the Space shuttle Columbia, OV-102, with it’s nicely matt white painted (ET) External Tank, which carries the fuel of liquid Hydrogen and Oxygen to be combust in the (SSME) Space Shuttle Main Engines, also strapped right next to the ET, a pair of older designs of the ( SRB ) Solid Rocket Booster. using the O-rings, now days they use the J-ring seals designs, a very hard lesson learnth after the STS-51L (Challenger OV-099), which ground the shuttle fleet for a couple of years, till it got the okay to fly on Discovery (OV-103) behalf, also on the return to flight on Columbia’s on July 4 2006 independence Day, after a fatale hull breach of Columbia on February 1st 2003.
In which lessons from the incidents lead to many redesigning of the existing systems, multiple new cameras was installed on the ET, SRB’s also following after launch checks of the newly extend Canada arm, (RMS) Remote Manipulator System to do inspecting the Shuttle’s hull scans any foam damage or incursion that incurred during launch also the (ISS) International Space Station plays a partakes in safety aswell.
Television coverage over the last few decades of watching NASA, have dynamicaly change in from watching coverage from television to the internet and through NASA TV to the NASA app on the iphone. On that note with the advet of the internet providing social media to keep in real time information through Facebook, and Twitter.
One thing I’ve notice in the end of this great programme is the way how they used, the names of the shuttles, for Discovery it been used to inspire once more ever so again to see what’s out there after Challenger and Columbia. Given the naming of Atlantis, it’s fitting that it there will be another manned vehicle of a different heritage soon to bear that name also her sisters once more.