STS-133 Rollout

Say what you will about the Shuttle program or the future of NASA, this is a thing of beauty:

STS-133 Rollout The last flight of Space Shuttle Discovery

STS-133 Rollout
The last flight of Space Shuttle Discovery

From the looks of it, someone’s “saturation” dial goes to 11. Murdoc’s glad it does.


  1. Honestly, the fact that this is the last flight of that thing is a thing of beauty. Far too many people died due to that monstrosity for what little was gained from its massively expensive existence. But then, I frankly advocate for the cessation of NASA as a whole due to the massive amount of money it is a waste of too.

    1. I’m no big fan of the Shuttle program (particularly what it meant had to be cancelled) but the “far too many people died” argument and the “for what little was gained” arguments aren’t terribly strong.

    2. NASA waste is a drop in the bucket compared to the general budget. I’m not sure that the government needs a monopoly on space anymore, and NASA has all the hallmarks of government inefficiency and slothfulness, but it’s way down on my list of government programs to be mad at. According to Wiki, it was just a hair over half a percent of the federal budget in 2009. And I’d wager that’s discretionary spending, not including Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security, but I’m no accountant.

      For what it accomplished, NASA, and even the Shuttle program, is something I’m proud of my country for. I just wish it hadn’t been such an orphaned stepchild for the last thirty years. I guess it’s inevitable for a government bureaucracy to eventually bloat and drift from it’s core mission.

  2. I know why, but I still have to say “Why don’t we have the next generation up and running when the last shuttle mission happens?” And then I remember. Somewhere along the way we got lost.

  3. Compared to the whole federal budget it is incredibly tiny. But compared to what services could have been purchased from aggressively competing private firms, it is a monumental waste.

    Bigelow has already had TWO prototype space stations circling the globe for YEARS now. Musk launched satellites into orbit for a FRACTION of what commercial providers have been charging.

    Why NOT pay them to take America to the stars?

  4. I was doing some research on STS-133 and I found this page. Its now 2012 and the Space Shuttle program is over. I wish I had seen a real launch of the Space Shuttle – it was an amazing machine. It seems the shuttles replacement are going to be capsules. Its ashame NASA abandoneed the shuttle. It would have been nice if they had built a mark 2 Space Shuttle System and perhaps ran the Shuttle also because the Shuttle can life alot of cargo and can return cargo to Earth to. All the Shuttles are now located in museums. They flew for 30 years and boy they were and still are magnificent machines.

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