Image Credit – NASA
Could this be the next space vehicle for NASA? Due to cutbacks from the national government NASA has scrapped the space shuttle program after years of hard work and great service. NASA has contracted with multiple commercial companies in a venture called NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services to allow private companies to come up with their own idea of what America’s next space vehicle should be. In a post awhile ago, we talked about the Dragon spaceship as it not only made outer space but docked with the International Space Station, making history. Now Orbital Science Corporation is the second to make the move with the Antares rocket (pictured above.)
The Antares rocket is shown moving towards the launch pad. Over the next few months the orbital rocket Antares will undergo testing to show it’s worth to NASA. These tests include a firing of the first stage, the Antares maiden flight and a cargo demonstration to prove that the rocket can dock and offload at the International Space Station.
As much as I miss the Space Shuttle Program, I can’t help but be excited about what these new ships bring into the fold. As a huge fan of science fiction and space in general, there is a certain flare with the space tests for a new vehicle for American space flight. The Space Shuttle Program had been in existence for a couple decades and we got to see the history making flights take place. But as these new ships are made, there is another layer to our space travel history that is taking place and I am excited to be around for its inception. Which ship will NASA choose? I’m sure it will be a lengthy process based on the pros and cons of each company, or they could choose all three and we could have a fleet of extraterrestrial vehicles to choose from. Either way, I’m anxious to see the outcome.
Another set of space news has popped up over the week. Head on over to fellow blogger, Diana Beebe’s post about An Asteroid to Save the Planet where a new theory has come out that the Earth can be cooled from Global Warming by using the dust off an asteroid. It’s an interesting read.
What do you think about the new vehicles being put forth by the corporate community? Do you feel that private companies should be involved with the space program or should it be handled by the government?
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