Saturday, August 1, 2009

STS-127 Wraps it up

Lucky 13- Thirteen astronauts and cosmonauts in one picture! Not so improbable on Earth, but this picture is taken while they float around in the interior of the International Space Station just before the departure of shuttle Endeavor. It may seem a small thing, but to space enthusiasts, we revel in these types of advances in the seemingly glacial advance of the colonization of space.

Endeavor made a great touchdown Friday morning at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Mission STS-127 came to a close. There are now only 7 shuttle flights left on the current NASA manifest, all devoted to finishing up the construction of the ISS before the retirement of the shuttle system in 2010.

Realistically, I believe that the shuttle flight schedule will back up into 2011. The last two shuttle missions show perfectly well that glitches in the complex launch system, particularly where fueling and engines are concerned, can significantly delay a flight. The current schedule is very tight and the wait between flights may be unrealistic. We'll see.

No comments: