Friday, August 10, 2007

A Historic Endeavour

As OV-105 Endeavour closes in on the International Space Station carrying Barbara Morgan, the first teacher in space, there is more than one historical moment to reflect upon.

As we remember the tragedy of OV-99 Challenger's catastrophic failure 22 years ago killing McAullife, Onizuka, Scobee, and the others; lets remember another space related event that happened on August 10th.

It was on this day in 1945 that the father of modern rocketry died, his name was Dr. Robert H. Goddard. After twenty plus years launching liquid fuel rockets, first from a cabbage patch to later experiments in New Mexico and work with the US Navy to develop JATO, it was Dr. Goddard's experiments that proved the ideas first put forth by the likes of Tsiolkovsky while blazing the path Werner von Braun would use to lead the United States to the Moon.

Goddard Space Flight Center is named for this pioneer and on September 16th, 1959 Congress authorized the issuance of a gold medal in the name of Dr. Goddard.


Mike's America said...

So it looks like a chunk of ice scarred the tiles on the underside of Endeavour.

I hope it's nothing serious. Have we made any progress towards developing the next generation Shuttle?

Anna said...

A gouge near a landing gear. I would be a bit concerned and would vote to repair. Unless they want heat to eat into another wing.

They should have never built this type of shuttle to start with, but NASA had to design something that fit into the post-Apollo budget so we got SRBs attached to a manned launch vehicle to save money.

And the next gen rocket is not even a Shuttle, but a recycle of Apollo/Saturn parts married to a few Shuttle items. W

e need a viable prescense in space before a meteor gets us or a nuclear armed madman.

Mike's America said...

Something tells me that our effort to save money with a reusable vehicle has cost much more.

I used to follow NASA much more closely. I hope they start buidling a replacement for the Shuttle soon.

Anna said...

With only three Orbiters, we need such ASAP. The Shuttles are such complex beasties.

Project Dyna-Soar was a small shuttle launched from atop a Titan booster and to land on return like a plane. It was made of such metals as Rhemium but was never really built. Neil Armstrong was part of the project but wisely moved to NASA.