The Inside of a Space Shuttle Flight Deck, The End of an Era

The Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-memb...

Image via Wikipedia

America’s manned space missions are close to complete hiatus. This is a sad time for many, who like me, dreamed we’d be sending men to Mars the way we did with the Moon.  People think we haven’t done anything since getting to the Moon, and that really couldn’t be further from the truth. Many great technologies have come to us from the space program from the simple cordless power drill to the ubiquitous smoke detector.

A relatively small number of people have ever seen a space shuttle up close. Even smaller a number have seen inside one.  Take a look at all 360° in every direction of the flight deck of space shuttle Discovery.

My dad, a big space junkie, sent me this link. What I told him was what I’ll tell you. I’m glad we’re retiring the space shuttle program. I’m just very sad we don’t have a replacement program.

Look at how old the electronics in the flight deck look. Minus the rare upgrade–not overhaul, but upgrade–you’re looking at 30+ year-old technology.  We’ve had more technological achievements in the past 30 years than in possibly any other 30 year period in the history of the planet.

My dad seems to think with the bloat that NASA has become swollen with over the past 50 years, the only manned space flights we’ll see in the near future will be private space exploration. Have to agree with him on that. Most taxpayers see NASA as a big waste of money. I’ll save the politics for another time and place, but that is the prevailing theory across our land.

Space Shuttle Program: 1981-2011

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