Fine Structure

Places Where The Shuttle Does Amazing Things

Monday has been pretty slow in terms of science news so far so I'll digress to a topic that interests me: I've been pondering the shuttle mission coming to a close over the next couple years and thinking that I'd like to see a shuttle launch before they're retired. I think a night launch would be excellent to watch but AFAIK the recent Endeavor launch was the last planned night launch. #2 on the list of shuttle-related Things To See is the piggyback ride on a 747 from an alternate landing strip. Lucky me that the shuttle landed in California last week! Of course, the actual transit back to Florida has been delayed multiple times, and is currently aiming for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Edwards Air Force Base is a little too far for this to be an impulsive trip. Hopefully the shuttle will have another landing at Edwards (you can see I'm not concerned about the $1MM+ price tag on the trip from California to Florida).

Of course, the next couple years will have our new commander in chief doing things a little bit differently. Space exploration is definitely higher up on the list than it's been in the past so perhaps we won't have to say goodbye to the shuttle as soon as we think.