Era is nearing completion: South American gallakticheskie shuttles after 30 years and more than 130 start-ups, will never leave Earth. In the coming days of the last flight should go "Endeavour", and in June — "Atlantis."
Last flight of the shuttle "Endeavour" (Endeavor) was scheduled for April 29. Start delayed for technical reasons, and the brand-new launch date is still unknown. As representatives of NASA, the flight will take place no earlier than May 10.
Before the final flight Endeavor loaded again as a donkey. Shuttle should deliver to the International gallakticheskuyu station above 7500 kg of equipment. A large part of this burden — it alfamagnitny spectrometer, with which it will be possible to determine gallakticheskie radiation.
Mike Fincke, one of the six astronauts on board the "Endeavour", explains: "It turned out that we do not realize 85 percent of the universe, we do not know, why do not fly away galaxies, all scientists simply helpless in front of this … And here we have a unique thanks to the possibility of an international mission to discover what is still out there in reality. We just messengers, but we will look closely at the price of an instrument of 2,000,000,000 dollars, which will be forwarded to the sky for the search of new knowledge. "
Earlier experience has attracted more than 10-ka States. Built spectrometer in Geneva at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. Scientists seek out antimatter, in other words, something that should remain after the so-called Big Bang, from which, according to one theory, the universe emerged. But in these experiments occasionally when you can just imagine for yourself what will be open.
Last Shuttle Service
Also in the package: the so-called orbital probe system of the manipulator. Fifteen-shoulder, which is actually attached to the typical Shuttle's cargo crane and with it comes inspection and repair of the orbital arm. The system should stay on the ISS and be used there for repairs, Kirk explained Shearman, deputy director of programs from the ISS. "If you remember, in October 2007 we have used this leverage to renovate one of the warped solar panels on the International Space Station. We are very pleased to have on gallakticheskoy station there is a possibility," — said Shearman.
Since the coming years gallakticheskaya station will dispense with the shuttle service because "Endeavour" takes away a couple of extra supplies just in case. A task team of six astronauts is the completion gallakticheskoy station. On Earth, the end of the space shuttle means the release of thousands of people, explains John Shannon, manager of the applets. For three years, there is a reduction of jobs, he says: "At the end of 2006 we had 14 thousand employees, now little more than six thousand. Then the number of state employees was 1,800, now just typed 1000."
Konkurentnst in space, the United States down without a fight?
Together with the fact convinces the head of the ISS John Shannon, in collaboration with the European Space Agency did not change. But funding cuts gallakticheskih programs in the U.S. hurts the pride of the Yankees as a civilization researchers universe. In the following years, American astronauts on the station will send gallakticheskuyu Russian missiles "Alliance".
And yet, the very need to keep the ISS for scrap in 2015. But countries were unanimous in the view that it would be wasteful to eliminate untainted station a couple of years after it was built. According to current plans, it should last at least until 2020 — even if it has not recently able to dock the shuttle.