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Science research project. Mahoney John holds the view that human space exploration is the way to go especially in this era of new scientific and technological innovations.

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Hanad Sharmarke

Mahoney John. Dear NASA: Please Keep the Promise of Human Spaceflight Alive. Popular Science, July 11, 2011. (http://www.popsci.com)

Harland D.M, Harvey B. Space Exploration. New York: Springer, 2008.

Dear NASA: Please Keep the Promise of Human Spaceflight Alive

Or, perhaps more accurately: Dear Congress: please fund NASA sufficiently. After witnessing first-hand the extraordinary act of putting humans into space this Friday, I've realized that the importance of our manned exploration of space transcends budgets and politics

STS-135 Astronauts Training STS-135 pilot Doug Hurley (left) and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus train for the final space shuttle flight in the Johnson Space Center's crew compartment trainer NASA

Just like Rebecca, I'm sitting here drinking out of a space shuttle mug. Mine, with the STS-135 mission seal, I bought from the Kennedy Space Center souvenir stand on Friday, a few hours before Atlantis took to the skies. I certainly won't need it to remember my first (and last) shuttle launch--something that's been thoroughly seared into my memory--but it will be a nice, frequent reminder of the incredible feelings of that day.

It's been tough to articulate those feelings--where they came from, and why. But I think I've managed to trace them back to a single source: the four astronauts inside Atlantis.

...read more.


Kennedy Press Site, Atlantis Launch:  NASA

More than anything else it's the humans who made me tear up. Humans are what made us all feel that spontaneous joy next to the big clock in that field. Humans are what elicited a loud cheer in NASA's Tweetup tent accompanying main-engine cutoff--the point in the mission where a safe orbit is assured. Humans are what made me well up again when my phone buzzed with messages in my pocket, knowing my own friends and loved ones were on the other end, wanting to share in what I had just experienced.

This is not to say, though, that cancelling the shuttle program was a bad decision. After three decades of service, all in low-earth orbit, NASA has wisely elected to utilize cheaper launch systems, both foreign and private, for the laborious duty of ferrying supplies and eventually astronauts to and from the ISS, which has become the shuttle's primary mission.

What's troubling is the uncertain future for the type of American manned spaceflight that pushes the boundaries of exploration forward. It could be argued that the shuttle itself failed on that goal. But despite its compromised scope, the world's first reusable space plane became an iconic figure

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Work Cited

Mahoney John. Dear NASA: Please Keep the Promise of Human Spaceflight Alive. Popular Science, July 11, 2011. (http://www.popsci.com)

Alex Roland. Leave the people home. USA today, July 7th 1997.

Harland D.M, Harvey B. Space Exploration. New York: Springer, 2008.

...read more.

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