Space Shuttle Retirement Ushers In New Era of Space Transportation

Share This!
Follow Me on Pinterest More More

It was 30 years ago that NASA tested the first Space Shuttle pioneering a new era of space flight. That era is entering into a new endeavor as the Space Shuttle program is put to rest. What a lot of people are wondering, aside from where the Shuttle vehicles will be placed on display, is what will transport our American astronauts into space and beyond after the shuttle program has ended?

Ever heard of Elon Musk? Some of you may know him to be the CEO of Tesla, an innovative electric car company that builds the Tesla Roadster electric powered sports car or maybe the co-founder of PayPal. Musk also has his hands in a private space startup company called SpaceX. SpaceX will be at the forefront of transporting astronauts into space slated to have its first launch from Cape Canaveral in late 2013 or early 2014.

SpaceX has a variety of rockets that can be outfitted with transport vehicles and cargo. Of those rockets, they have ones that rival the famous Saturn V rocket that propelled brave men from the Earth to the Moon. To put things into perspective, below you will find charts of SpaceX’s rockets, the Space Shuttle and Constellation project Ares rockers in comparison to the largest and most powerful device man has ever built, the Saturn V rocket.

spacex-rockets-vs-saturnv

saturnv-vs-ares-rockets

This should give us some type of indication of what is to come in the space program provided they have the proper funding. Another good aspect about SpaceX is that have claimed to save an estimated $1 billion a year with a program using SpaceX rockets vs. the previously axed Constellation project rockets and designs.

The Falcon 9, created by SpaceX, became the first commercial vehicle to launch a spacecraft into orbit and have it return to Earth safely. We will look to future developments in space exploration and the bitter sweet retirement of the Space Shuttle as we know it.

There are a few vehicle ideas on the drawing board but as of now nothing has been put in concrete. The old Gemini and Apollo program has resurrected a pod design idea that looks to be very promising for sitting atop a SpaceX rocket for transporting astronauts into space in the near future.

To understand the magnitude, innovation, technology and bravery of the space program and the people at NASA, check out the video below of a Saturn V launch in slow motion captured on a high-speed camera at 500 frames per second and the famous space shuttle launch video below that.

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.

Popularity: 73%

Post to Twitter Tweet This!