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Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.
I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book. Give me the book, and I do not need somebody to stand up in front of the class.
The space shuttle was often used as an example of why you shouldn't even attempt to make something reusable. But one failed experiment does not invalidate the greater goal. If that was the case, we'd never have had the light bulb.
Instead of planning the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, America should be preparing the shuttles for their next step in space: evolving, not shutting them down and laying off thousands of people.
The pressure suit helps if something goes wrong during launch or re-entry - astronauts have a way to parachute off the shuttle. The suits protect you from loss of pressure in case of emergency.
After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.
When the space shuttle's engines cut off, and you're finally in space, in orbit, weightless... I remember unstrapping from my seat, floating over to the window, and that's when I got my first view of Earth. Just a spectacular view, and a chance to see our planet as a planet.
When I was a kid, I was a bit of a space geek. I loved the space program and all things NASA. I would read books about our solar system; I had pictures of the Space Shuttle on my bedroom wall. And yes, I even went to Space Camp.
I've had a chance to fly a lot of different airplanes, but it was nothing like the shuttle ride.
On a standard space shuttle crew, two of the astronauts have a test pilot background - the commander and the pilot.
No, I think most astronauts recognize that the space shuttle program is very high-risk, and are prepared for accidents.
Ironically, it is only when disaster strikes that the shuttle makes the headlines. Its routine flights attracted less media interest than unmanned probes to the planets or the images from the Hubble Telescope. The fate of Columbia (like that of Challenger in 1986) reminded us that space is still a hazardous environment.
It would be sad if the expertise built up during the 40 years of the U.S. and Russian manned programmes were allowed to dissipate. But abandoning the shuttle, and committing to new launch vehicles and propulsion systems, is actually a prerequisite for a vibrant manned programme.
In the 1990s, it's OK to do comedy about the Chernobyl disaster or the Space Shuttle blowing up. It's acceptable to ridicule the Pope or the President of the United States, but God forbid you do a joke... about gays. The gay community is the last sacred cow in this society.
The launch of a space shuttle can still make you weep with amazement and wonder, if you happen to be watching it.
In the astronaut business - the shuttle is a very complicated vehicle; it's the most complicated flying machine ever built. And in the astronaut business, we have a saying, which is, 'There is no problem so bad that you can't make it worse.'
Every shuttle mission's been successful.
My job in space will be to observe and write a journal. I am also going to be teaching a class for students on earth about life in space and on the space shuttle and conducting experiments.
I will go around the space shuttle and give a guided tour of the major areas and describe what is done in each area. This will be called The Ultimate Field Trip.
Space travel is the only technology that is more dangerous and more expensive now than it was in its first year. Fifty years after Yuri Gagarin, the space shuttle ended up being more dangerous and more expensive to fly than those first throwaway rockets, even though large portions of it were reusable. It's absurd.
In my mind I needed a symbol of today's technology, and I realized that what I wanted to photograph was the Space Shuttle. And so that's where Places of Power came into being.
We didn't use the shuttle robot arm before, so this has been a training flow to get ready for that.
Linda M. Godwin
The space shuttle has been a fantastic vehicle. It is unlike any other thing that we've ever built. Its capabilities have carried several hundred people into space.
If you gave kids peas that didn't look like peas and said they were a space shuttle, they're much more apt to eat them because it's now playtime.
I think both the space shuttle program and the International Space Station program have not really lived up to their expectations.
John F. Kennedy
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