When NASA unveiled the first space shuttle in 1977, they named it Enterprise to evoke advanced technology and the promise of space flight. Now, over 30 years later, the shuttle has become the interplanetary version of the family wagon: old, but still getting the job done.
Underscoring the age and delicacy of the shuttle is news that four of the tiles that protect the shuttle during reentry were damaged during takeoff. According to NASA, 103 seconds into launch, debris hit four of the tiles, but the space agency has called the damage "minor" and may not even repair the tiles until the shuttle gets back to Earth.
This servicing mission is the tenth to last mission for the entire shuttle fleet, and the Washington Post used this opportunity to look back at the age of the shuttle, explore its legacy and examine its replacement, the Ares. Sure, the article calls the shuttle "aged, flawed", but it also notes that it does have its admirers amongst NASA engineers.
Having visited, ugh, the Biaviians, I strongly urge, the US government to...pool their massive resources, in uhg, as we say, a coordinated, conceived, jump to Tracheyon. This shoulda happened on The Great Mothership and this woulda never happened man. You understand?
Definitely, Riley. I'm always amazed at the level of understanding and knowledge that the Biaviians have achieved. All right, next call is from Bong Hit Bill.
Hello Bill? Hello Bill Bill Bill Bill Bill? Bong Hit? Ohhhh ha ha ha, ohhh.
(bubblebubblebubblebubblebubblebubble. gaaaaasp. COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH)
Ha ha haha. Sounds like Bill's got a hold of some of that Stagyian purple leaf, eh Riley? Ha haha.