Post Shuttle update

About a week since the Space Shuttle had its final ‘wheel stop’ and the programme’s wind down is very much in full swing.

As you can see from the picture above Atlantis is back in the Orbiter Processing Facility and preparations for it’s museum life are underway…

While its processing will begin along the same lines as Discovery’s it’s worth pointing out that it’s going to be put on hold once the initial stages have been completed.

Mainly because you never know a private company might come along and fund one of these icons. An idea that this guy claims isn’t as mad as it sounds…

I asked @absolutspaceguy about one of the things I thought might hold this kind of thing back…

and got this reply…

Personally I dont think NASA and United Space Alliance would have gone this far down the line of compulsory redundancies on such a grand scale only to start things up all over again a couple of months later. The only real use for flying one last mission would be to bring Hubble back down from orbit, but i’d assume this would require two Shuttle’s to be on pads like recent Hubble missions, and that might be too much to ask.

Away from Florida and some of those NASA employees that have been lucky enough to keep jobs with the agency have been making a lot of progress with the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle.

I posted this video a little while ago of a mock of the capsule doing some landing tests…

and today NASA released this photo…

Of the previously tested launch pad abort system about to be connected to a capsule ready for acoustic testing.

Unfortunately it also emerged this week that the rocket that could take this thing to Mars is going to take a while to build…. like another 21 years!


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