The US space programme is facing an uncertain future with the final shuttle launch. Thirty years after the first space shuttle Columbia blasted off, the world's first re-usable fleet of space craft is headed for museums across the US.

Atlantis is on the final flight of 135 missions. Now, American spacemen and women will have to rely on the Russians to get into space. So why is NASA being forced to come back down to earth with such a bump? And what is the real cost of space exploration?

Also international airlines say no to European plans for a carbon emissions tax. We ask the environmentalists if it is the way forward. 

We also take a look at a new "crypto currency" where your digital wallet is filled so-called Bitcoins. Is the experimental currency a crazy idea or the next big thing to replace hard cash with virtual money?


Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

Click here for more on Counting the Cost.

Source: Al Jazeera