Endeavour Departs KSC for Last Time

Riding on top of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, the Space Shuttle Endeavour departed KSC for the last time at 7:21 Eastern Time. Endeavour will be flown to Ellington field near Johnson Space Center in Texas for an overnight stay before moving on to Los Angeles with a scheduled landing on Friday, September 21, 2012.

This is a sad moment for the United Stated which for the first time in 30 years has no domestic crewed access to space. In some ways this symbolic of what is seen by many as a nation in decline. The U.S. use to send men on the moon, it use to fly a large space plane into orbit that could carry large amounts of cargo to and from orbit.

The bright side to this is the the are several private U.S. companies that are currently developing private spacecraft capable of caring crews to orbit. Three of  these SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada Corporation have development contracts with NASA. A few months ago SpaceX took a major step by restoring to the U.S. the ability to transport cargo to and from I.S.S. by way of the unmanned version of their Dragon spacecraft.



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