The space shuttle Atlantis is prepped and ready to launch into space one last time, the first of three final flights for each of NASA’s soon-to-be-retired shuttles. She will carry with her six veteran astronauts, a Russian module bound for the International Space Station and a heap of unanswered questions about the future of the manned space program.
The problem with opening a decision to public input is that you could be stuck with a silly outcome, as NASA has learned after the word Colbert became the runaway winner in a contest to name a new room of NASA’s international space station.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is shooting down a proposition from Russia to swap out the U.S.‘s planned missile shield in Eastern Europe for a radar system in Azerbaijan, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, ABC News reports that higher-ups from Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corp. are concerned that U.S.-originated equipment aboard the space station may have caused a “fatal flaw” in the works.