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When the Shuttle Atlantis launched Friday ...

Displaying poll results.
I just listened, on TV or the radio.
  1879 votes / 10%
I watched, but no big production.
  3283 votes / 18%
I hosted / attended a (remote) event to celebrate.
  254 votes / 1%
I was in Florida to watch it in person.
  288 votes / 1%
I was on board.
  1968 votes / 11%
Bah, humbug --Waste of tax dollars and fuel!
  1251 votes / 7%
There was another shuttle launch?
  8518 votes / 48%
17441 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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When the Shuttle Atlantis launched Friday ...

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  • A sad day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dodgy G33za (1669772) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:37AM (#36704284)

    Today marks the beginning of the end for the US of A. Growing up in the Space Age, during the Space Race, I have fond memories of the Apollo program, and watched avidly as first Skylab and then the ISS was build.

    Then the world got taken over by sound bites and economists and we never went back to the moon.

    Now the US doesn't even have the capability to put a man in space.


  • None of the above. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nationless (2123580) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:56AM (#36704440)

    I knew about it.

    I don't think it was a waste of tax money.

    I just didn't watch it.

  • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @10:18AM (#36704584)

    Would you call "hanging on to a 30-year-old program that was much less safe and more expensive than designed" progress?

    Progress is turning manned trips to LEO into a service provided a number of US companies. Progress is NASA focusing on projects and rockets that will take humans and human knowledge to heights never before achieved by mankind. That's always where NASA made progress that nobody else could.

    Let's worry about that, and making sure that happens, rather than clinging to a (relatively successful) program that has run its course.

  • Good Riddance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @10:58AM (#36704962) Homepage Journal
    That thing never really did meet its design goals. The intention was a reusable spacecraft that was less expensive to launch than the old rockets. Instead we got a reusable spacecraft that was more expensive to launch than the old rockets. Then we used it for 30 years because of the bull-headed stubbornness that comes from not wanting to admit you wasted billions of dollars designing and building them.

    Materials science and computers have come a long way in the last 30 years, so now we can do better than that pork-laden flying deathtrap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @01:09PM (#36706112)

    Well, given the entire space program through Apollo was just sabre rattling to show off "big rocket" ICBM technologies that were already irrelevant before they launched I'd say we've made progress since we've stopped that aspect of it. STS was suppose to reduce the cost to space for payloads. It didn't, it was an abject failure and should have been canceled two decades ago. That it is finally gone is indeed progress, the same way that removing a malignant tumor is progress.

    There are problems with space development in the US, but the end of STS isn't one of them. Larger issues have been surrendering the lead in commercial space development with myopic ITAR restrictions and a repeated squandering of money on half-baked human spaceflight follow on ideas.

    Anyway, it might not seem like progress at first and we could certainly have hoped for more but the reality is the end of STS is the closest thing to progress we've seen since Challenger blew up and the DoD was finally released from the requirements to use the STS. While it was tragic that people lost their lives the Challenger accident saved the US space program by allowing sane launch platforms to once again be developed for both national security and commercial interests. STS should have ended then, the tragedy is that it bled the space industry for another 25 years. Good riddance, our adversaries and competitors couldn't have done anything worse to us through sabotage than we did ourselves by dragging a bad idea along for so long.

  • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chardansearavitriol (1946886) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @01:19PM (#36706202)
    While technicly true in every regard, you do what I and so many other sciency folks do: You leave humanity out of the equation. While i am in every way in favor of expanding probes/robotic systems, the fact of the matter is...Thats a whole lot of space. And this planet isnt. And there are other planets. We NEED to land on another planet, a human needs to set foot on it. Theres only one planet thats feasible for, and thats Mars. We simply cant survive on any other. BUT. If we do get someone on mars, a real person, I guarantee you interest in space exploration will skyrocket (God that was a lame pun. I apologize.) I am not gonna make a prediction of when we should do it, or how we should go about it. And I am in total agreement of the importance of unmanned exploration. But the human spirit, Demands to see the sun rise on another world. Live, with our own eyes. Mars is the only place we can do that in any resaonable time frame. It should take secondary importance to our major unammed exploraiton, but it is a necessary event. We need to. It would represent something far bigger than all that has come before it. And thats the sort of thing that gets funding.
  • Re:A sad day (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @10:46AM (#36711756)

    I disagree, for some things like going to Mars it makes far more sense to send a machine to do that. But most of the work that's being done on the ISS and was being done onboard the shuttles was far better than what you'd be doing with machines. If it really were that easy to do science with machines, then why precisely hasn't most lab science been turned over to machines at this point? Given the toxic and or infectious materials that are routinely involved with lab work, robots should be doing it. The main reason that they aren't doing it is that machines are still nowhere near as capable of conducting experiments as humans are.

    You just lose out on way too much going that route. Sure you get a result that's free of mistakes and readily repeatable, but you also lose out on the mishaps that occasionally warp us forward or the insight into why we're doing something in a particular way.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @04:44PM (#36714594)

    Now the US doesn't even have the capability to put a man in space.

    That is so not true. SpaceX is readying the next crew vehicle.

    We are going from being a nation that can only have one monolithic government entity send people into space, to one where ANYONE can send a man into space if they desire to form a company and build a launch vehicle. No more astronauts only and handful of selected special guests, this is the start of the real vision of space brought to life where eventually ANYONE can go.

  • Other (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2011 @11:48PM (#36717170)

    I knew about it.
    I looked at pictures and read articles about it.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]


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