After 30 years, aboard Atlantis, the last crew will make NASA’s 135th and final shuttle flight. It will be years before the United States sends its own spacecraft up again. Why is the shuttle program being retired? Is it old age, its inability to function properly (as it has proved on multiple occasions), budget cuts or the discovery of other means of traveling to space? (hint! hint!) Perhaps it is all of the above, including privatizing and commercializing the industry, making it feasible for not only astronauts, but any passenger who is able and willing to take a trip into the cosmos.
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