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

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.