After sending NASA astronauts into low-Earth orbit for 30 years, the Space Shuttle program is over. How will we now make the great leap into space? Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft will carry our astronauts to the International Space Station until NASA can complete the next generation crew vehicle and rocket. Meanwhile, companies such as Virgin Galactic are developing commercial flights so that, someday, everyone can see the stars shine above Earth’s atmosphere.
Neil talks with the final shuttle crew—STS-135—about what it was like to fly on the shuttle and their dreams of traveling far beyond our world. Also joining us is Mike Massimino, an engineer and NASA astronaut who flew on two shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He talks about shuttle’s speed while in orbit (coast-to coast in only 11 minutes), the hazards to human health, and why walking in space is like Heaven off Earth.
Season 2, Episode 34 - Spaceward Bound
Chuck Nice: comedian
Mike Massimino: astronaut
Crew of STS-135
Chris Ferguson: commander
Doug Hurley: pilot
Rex Walheim: mission Specialist
Sandy Magnus: mission Specialist