Shuttle to launch tomorrow, weather permitting

Shuttle to launch tomorrow, weather permitting


I’m a space geek. Always have been, always will. I think money put into space exploration is generally both well spent and extremely cool. I regret that I will probably not live long enough to witness the first human colony on another planet. I think life on other planets is a mathematical near-certainty. If I had $20 million, I’d spend it all for a Soyuz trip to the International Space Station.

So it’s not particularly political — unless you want to get into NASA funding decisions as all available resources get sucked into Bush’s “manned mission to Mars” initiative — but the shuttle Discovery is scheduled to blast into space tomorrow, weather permitting.

The weather delay nonetheless served as a reminder of the bleak forecasts for launch day. NASA predicted a 60 percent chance that weather conditions will ground the shuttle Saturday. The prospects aren’t any better Sunday or Monday, as clouds from area thunderstorms are expected to continue threatening rain and lightning.

Regular shuttle flights are needed if we’re to complete the International Space Station and keep the Hubble telescope operating until the James Webb telescope is launched in 2013.

In other recent space news, two moons of Pluto discovered by the Hubble telescope have been named: Nix and Hydra join Charon as Plutonian satellites.

That still doesn’t settle whether Pluto is actually a planet — and if it is, whether that means we have more than nine planets after all, because there are several nonplanetary objects in the solar system that are as large or possibly larger than Pluto.

Fun stuff.

I hope tomorrow’s launch goes well and that the astronauts return safely.

  • Trickish Knave

    I’m am a big time space geek; if NASA needed someone tomorrow for a 6-month manned trip to Mars I would be the guy in the back of hte room going, “OH, OH, Mr. Kotter!”

    Discovery Channel had an incredible show on supermassive black holes. Seems they aren’t just a rarity like we used to think- our own galaxy has one lurking in the center, a mere 450 light years away!

  • Billy Bones

    I don’t know much about space but i wanted to know more about the planets and UFOs