An Fitting Obituary for the Shuttle Program, NASA, and Our Future


“…It’s not a stupid question, when you think about it.

Why did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin restrict their moonwalk to barely 100 yards? After all, it was a once in a lifetime experience, even once in a blue moon. You might have thought natural curiosity would have convinced them to stray further afield. But no. As Armstrong has now explained, it was “really, really hot” up there; no one knew how the special suits would bear up, and Nasa wanted the experiments conducted in front of a fixed camera….”

Why do I detest Democrats so very much?  Every time they come into total power, they have a tendency to destroy that which is greatest about our country – NASA.

The libertarians who are now attempting to remake America in their own perverse image are among those who wish to do away with NASA and let private industry do it all.  The problem with this is that one of the GOOD government programs is our human exploration of space, which is coming to an abrupt end thanks to the Obama Administration.

Private ventures like SpaceX are our only hope. There is nothing wrong with this, but we need a strong national presence in space.  Not to have one is abjectly foolish.  Then again that is all we are seeing right now is foolish.

American Space

Once upon a time, when The Pink Flamingo covered NASA, I was fortunate enough to attend 9 of the earliest shuttle launches.  One of the best parts of the launch was when everything was over and we’d packed up our cameras and equipment, tossed them in the car, and grabbed something to drink. Everyone would head to the post launch press conference.  Before that, though, maybe 45 minutes after a launch, the various camera angles would have been retrieved.  The raw footage would simply be screened in the press room. There are/were something like 125 camera angles for each launch.

Low and behold, almost as an obituary to the shuttle program, NASA, and our very future as a space-faring nation, Matt Melis, a NASA engineer has created a “best of” video.  It lasts nearly 45 minutes.  The narrative is excellent, describing the film used, the speed, the cameras, number of frames per second.

What I like is the fact that they have not cut the vapor and flame from the pad itself.

H/T Wizbang

“...Matt Melis, a longtime NASA engineer, has take to the ‘Tube to show off what he calls “the best of the best” imagery from shuttle launches, including hi-definition video

Melis has been in the launch analysis game for quite some time. His 45-minute tribute to space shuttle launches is incredibly educational and a fascinating watch for fans of space programs.

You’ll get to hear NASA engineers explain every imaginable detail of a shuttle launch as footage from the ground and from the shuttles themselves show what goes into the first phase of a successful space mission. You’ll get to see launches for STS-114, STS-117, and STS-124 missions….”


“…We were operating in a near perfect vacuum with the temperature well above 200 degrees fahrenheit with the local gravity only one-sixth that of Earth,” he explained. “That combination cannot be duplicated here on Earth. We did not have any data to tell us how long the small water tank in our backpacks would suffice.”

The reply, from a man who famously refuses to give autographs and long refused to speak about the Moon landings even as his colleagues enthusiastically spoke of their adventures, was surprising enough in itself. Perhaps more surprising still was the detail that an apparently enthused Armstrong went into about the difficulties of exploration.

First there was the question of television coverage – for us back on Earth and for mission control. Planting a fixed video camera on the Moon’s surface was one of Armstrong’s first tasks and Nasa was very clear that thereafter everything he and Aldrin did had to be within its range of view, which wasn’t large. They wanted to be able to see, for instance, how well they were walking in those clunky outfits.

Here we learn, however, that even Armstrong himself was unable entirely to play by the rules. “I candidly admit that I knowingly and deliberately left the planned working area out of TV coverage to examine and photograph the interior crater walls for possible bedrock exposure or other useful information,” he acknowledged. “I felt the potential gain was worth the risk.”

Armstrong repeated his disappointment that Nasa has not been back and his frustration with those who argue there’s little point, since that space frontier has already been reached.

“I find that mystifying,” he said. “It would be as if 16th-century monarchs proclaimed that ‘we need not go to the New World, we have already been there…'”

“Americans have visited and examined six locations on Luna, varying in size from a suburban lot to a small township. That leaves more than 14 million square miles yet to explore.“…”


2 thoughts on “An Fitting Obituary for the Shuttle Program, NASA, and Our Future

  1. Abuse of power? You mean that is the ‘only reason’ you detest the Democrats?

    So what does Ron ‘the Isolationist’ Paul and his good friend Alex Jones think about this Space Exploration issue?

    (paraphrasing Alex and Ron)
    “..NASA was clearly an unwarranted invasion of outer space designed to pursue Planetary Globalism!”

    “…the NEO-Con Galactic Imperialist Bush family must have wanted missile sites on the Moon. There’s also the dreaded RONALD RAY GUN that could have enslaved all mankind!”

    And I’m sure RP could come up with other anti-NEO-CON reasons to close NASA (along with the costs).

    The truth is that Ron “both sides of his mouth” Paul consistently opposed taxpayer funding for NASA all the while praising privately funded Space Exploration (yeah right like that would ever happen).

    Ron Paul actually scares me more than Obama, the Clintons, Jimmy Carter, FDR, and Stalin all combined because people believe that he is for real. He’s not he is a Joker.

    I think this song is appropriate to the times we live in!
    “Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
    I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
    I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
    And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs

    Clowns to the left of me,
    Jokers to the right, here I am,
    Stuck in the middle with you,
    Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
    Stuck in the middle with you.”

  2. I detest them for many other reasons, but my primary dislike of them goes back to the days of Jimmy Carter when he attempted to destroy our future in space. They’re all the same.


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