questionsare you going to watch the final shuttle launch?

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A little trivia for you on Mission Control being in Houston - it would have actually been in Cambridge, Massachusetts if not for the assassination of JFK. MIT was a major contributor to the early space program, so they wanted Mission Control to be close to MIT.

Despite that, I agree with you, Houston really should get a shuttle...

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@durkzilla: This is a pretty good article on why Houston may have gotten snubbed. Still kinda crazy that they didn't though.

http://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/why-houston-did-not-get-a-shuttle/

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Hurry, you can still participate in NASA's 'face in space' program for this last mission. This program is designed to put a picture of your choice on the shuttle for its trip into space.
Don't worry, it's 100% free, no strings attached and you get a neat little certificate awhile after the space shuttle launches.

Here's the link, just click 'Participate' to start: https://faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspx

I participated in the STS-133 earlier this year and when I found out that this ship (STS-135) is doing this program also, I signed up for it as well.

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It's bittersweet. The shuttle was once a symbol of our next steps towards a truly renewable launch/re-entry vehicle. Now it's done and nothing replaces it, making it the last gasp. All of the technologies that were by-products of space exploration and we stop. Kinda sad and pathetic.

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@fivemtz: That's being privatized... so yes something replaces it, and space exploration is by no means ending, if anything it's moving forward.

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Yep, privatize the space program. That means all the money will now go to some company chosen because it made the right payments to the right people. All the discoveries made in the past will go by the wayside as the only rule will be for someone to show a profit. And if there isn't a profit, no more space program.
Too many short-sighted people decided to cut the expensive explorative and innovative program because the economy isn't doing well because we spent trillions on war. 'Nuff said.

Here in Florida, we salute those who spent their lives making things better. We pray for those who gave their lives in the exploration and adventure that was the space program. Ad astra per aspera.

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@olperfesser: I meant only geocentric orbit is being privatized, so it'll pretty much be like taking a commercial flight... only to the space station. I don't think the space program should be entirely privatized, and it's not. NASA is simply moving their efforts into deep space travel and exploration.

“There are very few things the federal government should be doing,” LeMieux said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “But one of the few things the federal government can only do is space exploration. We are seeing good private sector folks that are trying to go into low-Earth orbit and that’s great and we should encourage them, but the only folks that are going to go to an asteroid or go to Mars is going to be NASA.” <-This sums up my thinking of it.

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Uh...still watching and still enjoying.