The Space Shuttle really is a pile of crap, isn’t it. A book I had back in the 1970s enthused that there’d be a flight every week. The Shuttle would be regular trucking service to orbit. Reality: The first Shuttle flight for 2007 was only the other day, and I hardly need to mention the disasters. Still, offer me a ticket and I’ll fly tomorrow. Though part of me suspects the sturdy Soyuz would be safer.
You can watch the hot space action from STS-115 at www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/. Of course as I write this the astronauts are asleep for the next five hours, but they do have a camera pointing at the Earth, which is worth a look. And the commentator is doing such a sterling job she’d be at home on ABC Radio during a rained-out cricket match.