Space Shuttle: Mission to the Future (1981) (click the title for the film)
This was a promotional documentary NASA made in early 1981 that romanticized and glorified the purpose of the Space Transportation System. Featuring appearances and reflections by James Michener (Author of the super novel Space) and Issac Asimov, Space Shuttle is an informative and entertaining look at what the agency thought the Shuttle system could accomplish.
It’s always interesting to see how the STS as to be utilized, and there are various points in this film where it’s alluded to a high number of flights. At one point it’s even mentioned that over 400 flights in 12 years were expected. Additionally, it’s highly publicized that the common Man will ride into space on this vehicle, and it’s a spaceship for the people of the World, not just the United States. Unfortunately none of these lofty goals even came close to being achieved. The orbiter was a vehicle funded by the United States, which hosted the work of other countries every so often. As mentioned in here, ESA’s Spacelab was a frequent payload, and there was even a predominantly West German crew on one mission (STS 61-A), but that was largely the extend of the Shuttle’s international scope until the Shuttle-Mir and ISS programmes.
It’s interesting to see, too, the massive Space Architecture concepts that were being considered for construction by the Orbiters, something that Asimov himself remarks on near the end of the film. Of course, nothing that large was ever orbited by the shuttles, but the International Space Station itself is still a remarkable achievement in the field of Space Architecture.
The closest any member of the general public came to flying on these vehicles was through the Teacher-In-Space programme, which only put two individuals into orbit (though only one successfully). Even more interesting is the sheer volume of Government missions the STS was expected to fly. It should be noted that a large impetus of STS development was to launch classified payloads for the government, and was funded in part through the DoD, so this expectation was not unfounded. However, this purpose, as well as all the others mentioned here, were reconsidered or dropped entirely when it was realized how expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient it was to launch a Shuttle. More on that in a minute. Once the Challenger disaster occurred, the DoD pulled all of their payloads out of the STS lineup due to safety concerns for both payload ans astronaut.
There was expected to be, depending on which source you take your information from, between 40 and 60 shuttle flights per year. This figure grossly underestimated the turnaround time it took between flights; the launch pad, the Orbiter’s themselves, the infrastructure at KSC, as well as numerous other factors contributed to the reason why there were only 5 shuttle flights a year, at most.
In short, this film is magnificent in terms of historical documentation of the Shuttle programme’s original goals, but it’s amusing and almost sad to see how none of them came to fruition. The debate on weather the Shuttle programme was worth the cost, loss of life, or legacy is not for this post, nor was this post intended to spark that debate. This merely shows that the United States dreamed big when it imagined the Space Transportation System, and in doing so, causes interesting reflections when viewed retroactively.
If you took to heart the recent cover story in The Economist, “How Science Goes Wrong,” you might be tempted throw your hands up and stop reading about scientific research entirely. The piece describes how scientists often fail to reproduce some of the most frequently cited findings in their fields, calling their conclusions into question. Science writers have also come under fire recently, most notably Malcolm Gladwell, who according to critics in the The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among others, cherry-picks research to fit his thesis and hangs major arguments on poorly replicated studies in his latest book, David and Goliath.
Badass SUV tells the story of Jesus (Found at the blog of Matthew Paul Turner; For a related post, click here http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/49612204386/hummin-4-jesus-if-this-suvs-a-rockin-dont)
"They received new hats."
Submitted By: Katy L.
Location: Iowa, United States
And the Grand Cross of the German Eagle goes to…
#3. Henry Ford’s Nazi Connections Were Way Deeper Than Anyone Thought
A little known 1998 lawsuit by a Russian slave laborer (more on that later) delved a little deeper into the whole Ford/Hitler thing, and what it uncovered was fucking terrifying. According to its papers, Ford and the Nazis were extremely tight, to the point that Ford started throwing money at the ascending Reich. Ford didn’t agree to stop dealing with Hitler until late 1942 … eight months after the U.S. had entered the war.
The Guide: December 2013 Edition — LightBox presents our monthly round-up of the best books, exhibitions and ways to experience photography beyond the web.
Poster: ‘Six by Sondheim' on HBO Dec. 9th at 9 pm
In 2012, Publishers Weekly chose E. L. James as its Person of the Year. James’s Fifty Shades soft-porn trilogy was a sensation that boosted global print and e-book revenues, with at least 100 million copies sold (and counting). According to Forbes, James topped its annual list of bestselling authors with earnings of $95 million, including movie rights.
This year’s selection for PW's Person of the Year represents a wholly different approach to the honor. It is Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, and the ABA's board of directors, the organization that represents the country's independent book stores. The fact that these traditional brick-and-mortar, mainly locally owned bookstores are being recognized as outstanding contributors to publishing is not merely a sympathetic gesture to old-fashioned commerce in a generally downward trajectory. The accolade is justified by results defying the odds that so heavily favor the Amazon juggernaut and the chain stores, still led by (the struggling) Barnes & Noble.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]