We're paying the Russians $21 million an astronaut to go to the space station. We're called the only superpower, and yet we don't have space flight capability _ this is not the message to send to our young engineers and scientists.
My worry is that if we stand down the shuttles entirely and something drastic happens on the space station, like a debris strike, for instance, the Russian support ships won't be able to respond. You can't do repairs up there without a shuttle.
The straight galleys are done to maximize space. They're fine at the dock. And being fundamentally antisocial, I don't care if my back's to the crowd. But from a practical user standpoint while under way, I can't really get used to them.
Like Hubble, Compton and Chandra, the new Spitzer Space Telescope will soon be making major discoveries, and, as these first images show, should excite the public with views of the cosmos like we've never had before.