Lots of buzz in the space realm lately. NASA announced last week that they plan to resume shuttle opps in May with a Discovery launch, and that’ll be followed by an Atlantis launch in July. This is good news for America.
NASA has taken a backseat to everyone over the past couple of years. Since the Columbia tragedy other countries have taken the lion’s share of supporting the space station. And SpaceShipOne has stolen the spotlight for the past year by winning the X-Prize competition for privatized spaceflight. And since then several companies have begun working towards taking passengers into space.
I think everyone has heard of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic by now. Just yesterday I learned of Rocket Plane, Inc, an Oklahoma company that plans to do the same thing. This industry has been gaining momentum for the past couple of years, so it seems likely to me that other companies will join in soon. NASA has been the world leader in space exploration for decades, it’ll be really interesting to see how they respond to this.
I’m really glad to see the shuttles flying again. It might be worth a road trip to go watch the launch in Florida. And please let me take this opportunity to remind you that I am really freakin excited about being an aerospace engineer.