End of NASA shuttle program begins new space race - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

End of NASA shuttle program begins new space race

SpaceX showing off their new technology including the Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX showing off their new technology including the Falcon 9 rocket.
Media awaiting the launch of the Atlantis. Media awaiting the launch of the Atlantis.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. -

After dozens of liftoffs and landings over three decades, Atlantis is set to launch.

Atlantis marks the 135th and last shuttle mission ending a program that dates back to 1981. Before that Apollo, Gemini and the first of course Mercury.

So what's the next chapter in American space flight?

A new space race is underway, but this time it's a commercial race to the stars.

"The goal of SpaceX is to increase our access to space. And especially in regards to carrying humans up there," said Garrett Reisman of Space X. "That is the reason why the company was founded. To make it more economical and safer to get both people and payloads into space."

And SpaceX is just one of many companies looking to fill the need to transport people and things into space. SpaceX has set up shop with mission control rooms and developing and testing a capsule called Dragon. And they're building the next generation of rockets like their Falcon 9.

Other companies like Sierra Nevada, are in a high dollar competition to contract with NASA to provide a viable transport system to the international space station.

The future of space is two-fold. Private companies will develop transport systems to go into low earth orbit and to the space station while NASA focuses on deep space exploration.

Taking people and equipment to asteroids, Mars and beyond.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 09:32:04 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:33 PM EDT2018-05-25 03:33:35 GMT
    The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based...

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

  • N. Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

    N. Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 10:32:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:33 PM EDT2018-05-25 03:33:20 GMT
    Journalists took a long journey up to North Korea to witness the destruction of what North Korea said were nuclear sites. (Source: CNN)Journalists took a long journey up to North Korea to witness the destruction of what North Korea said were nuclear sites. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

    North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

  • Rachel Dolezal, who posed as black, accused of welfare fraud

    Rachel Dolezal, who posed as black, accused of welfare fraud

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-05-25 01:02:28 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:25 PM EDT2018-05-25 03:25:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File). FILE - In this March 20, 2017, file photo, Rachel Dolezal poses for a photo with her son, Langston, at the bureau of The Associated Press in Spokane, Wash. Dolezal, a former NAACP leader in Washington state whose ...(AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File). FILE - In this March 20, 2017, file photo, Rachel Dolezal poses for a photo with her son, Langston, at the bureau of The Associated Press in Spokane, Wash. Dolezal, a former NAACP leader in Washington state whose ...
    A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was outed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.
    A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was outed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.
Powered by Frankly