Well, it has been a long fast from the food of shuttle launches, but on November 14th Space Shuttle Endeavour is set to break that fast and launch once again to the International Space Station (ISS). Woohoo!!!
There has been some human spaceflight activity since the last launch way back on May 31st, when Discovery actually damaged the launch pad. The repairs are all complete now, and thanks to the Russian space program it was not an entirely launch free summer. For the ISS we had a Progress launch which delivered fresh cargo and supplies on September 10th, Expedition 18 launched on October 12th with Commander Edward Michael "Mike" Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Valentinovich Lonchakov on board for a six month stay.
Also of note, China launched their first spacewalking mission on September 25th, and congratulations to that nation as they join the ranks of those brave enough to step off the doorstep of planet Earth. India, although not a manned flight, launched its Chandrayaan 1 moon mission on October 22nd joining the worldwide drive to gather information on the Moon as we get closer to returning to our iconic natural satellite.
Just a quick note from me on all this activity. I grow increasingly proud of the nations of this world as they break the ties of our planet and move outward into the cosmos. There is so much holding us back that we need to put as many fingers into the space pie as we can to fight the forces that would seek to have us return to the stone age. I especially applaud those who enter into the spirit of spaceflight with comfort alongside religions and religious beliefs, for inside many creeds and faiths there are many powerful and misguided souls who seek to denegrate all things science. Even in the USA, the undisputed and long time leader in space science, those lost souls seek to steer mankind away from a future where Mother Earth is not the only egg in the basket of humanity.
Look out for Spacers to pick up the pace once again as we approach launch day.
Until then, happy spacing, Spacers!
Posted by SpaceHead at 12:10 PM