Discovery at 30.

The Space Shuttle Discovery was rolled out from its Palmdale, California factory thirty years ago this month.

Retired after 39 missions, 365 days in space and travelled almost 150 million miles, she was one of  six shuttles built.

Of the six, one (the Enterprise on the USS Intrepid in New York)  was a prototype that never flew in space,

two (Columbia and Challenger) were lost in accidents and

the rest, including Discovery were permanently retired two years ago and currently reside in museums across the USA.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit KSC

The Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
Credit: NASA/ Jim Grossmann

Of all the shuttles, Discovery was the most travelled of the six.

NASA’s “fun facts about the space shuttle orbiter” shows the total mileage logged by each spacecraft–Challenger (green), Atlantis (orange), Endeavour (red), Columbia (blue), and Discovery (purple).  (Credit: NASA)

That doesn’t mean that the others were goofing off, the amount of miles flown by these amazing craft is pretty spectacular.

All I know is on my next day off, I’m headed to the Los Angeles shuttle exhibit at the California Science Center.  If you are near one of the location or are planning a trip nearby, I highly recommend going to see a major piece of history.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Build the Enterprise

I think this is a great concept.   Over at the  Build the Enterprise site they have imagined a way to construct an actual working version of the Enterprise.  Granted, it won’t travel at warp speed (which is theoretically possible) just yet, but it would move people around the solar system fairly quickly.

The specifications call for a gravity wheel inside the saucer section to maintain 1g of gravity and three 1.5GWe ion engines producing a 0.002g constant acceleration.  Both of these technologies are currently available.  The largest ion engine ready for production is 0.5GWe, so the 1.5GWe isn’t unreasonable.

With the size and mass of the proposed ship, it is estimated that a trip to Mars should only take 90 days with a full crew.

Although I like our current robotic missions to the planets, I would absolutely love to take a trip to Mars.

All of this is for a first generation space-ship using currently available technology.  I think someone needs to tell Mr. Branson of Virgin fame to build one of these instead of his SpaceX projects.

If you have a new spacecraft  and need help to protect your idea, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

 

P.S. It seems that someone has a head start!