You've been shooting everything else all day, time to kick back and chill. Whatever direction the conversation wants to go in here is okay. Whether it deals with DV, movies, or the answer to life, the universe and everything...which we all know is 42.
Was kind of sad but no one out there was really somber. I don't think it has really sunk in yet that they're never going to see the sky again. I'm guessing a lot of people are thinking they could just take them out of mothballs, do a little retrofitting and send them up again, but it doesn't work that way. The orbiters are permanently grounded. It's over.
Just for the history buffs, Endeavor was built in 1991. 20 years is a long service life for any vehicle, it's forever for a spacecraft.
My feelings might be clearer if we had a replacement lift vehicle, but right now we have nothing and the Russians are our ride to space. Instead of pioneering engineers on the hairy fringe of technology, NASA has become a bunch of contract managers associated with a rusting theme park replaying scenes from their glory days.
I'm sure the engineers who steered a one ton rover millions of miles through space and landed it safely on Mars with a freaking rocket powered sky crane might disagree, but that just doesn't generate the same excitement.
People get amped about a manned space program. There's just no point to robots in space. If it eventually leads to us getting off this rock, then I'm all for making the investment. If we're landing a Roomba on Mars, that's not really going to get us out of here.
My feelings exactly. The Mars rover is cool, but it's not human. I grew up on too much Bradbury to not want people on those ships. I think the only that's going to happen is if that Mars rover discovers something there that can make money for the already wealthy here, like oil or gold or lithium, or diamonds, etc . Then we'll see some interest in manned spaceflight again.