Silicon Valley News

Friday, July 15, 2011

Obama calls space shuttle crew



President Barack Obama called the crew of of NASA's final space shuttle mission today to say that he was "personally proud" of the astronauts and the space program's accomplishments.

President Obama talks with astronauts from Oval Office.

Obama spoke with the combined crew of the space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station. The Atlantis will return from its 14-day mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station next Thursday. The mission marks the end of the 30-year NASA space shuttle program.



The Paul McCartney and Beatles hit "Good Morning Sunshine" greeted the Atlantis crew of Chris Ferguson, Doug Hurley, Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim on the eighth day of their space mission.

Private companies will takeover orbital flights and missions to the space station in the future. NASA is developing plans to put an astronaut on Mars.

A 2-second, July 14 ignition test of the next-generation J-2X rocket engine. Click image to enlarge.

NASA yesterday conducted a 1.9-second ignition test of the J-2X rocket engine that it hopes will eventually carry humans into deep space. The J-2X engine, which is being developed for NASA's Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, is being tested at the John C. Stennis Space Center.