US space shuttle's final mission

Without an icon like the winged orbiter, question arises whether Americans will continue their support for NASA.

    The odds were stacked against the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis, the last shuttle for NASA's 30-year programme, and the end of its iconic winged orbiter.

    Through most of the Friday morning launch, controllers stuck to a slim 30 per cent chance of "go" ahead, due to a storm threat from the west.

    But Atlantis did beat those odds on launch pad 39A, the site of the first space shuttle launch in 1981.

    Despite skyrocketing costs in the Shuttle programme and a lack of NASA vision for the future, many Americans feel that the programme was worth the investment. That is an investment of well over $100bn.

    Without an icon like the shuttle, however, the question persists of whether Americans will continue their support for NASA.

    Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler reports from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.