Focus Is On Space Shuttle ... And What's Next
NASA and the Georgia Institute of Technology will review the
achievements of the agency's Space Shuttle Program and look ahead
to the future of space exploration during a symposium this
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
Georgia Tech is hosting "The Space Shuttle: An Engineering
Milestone" at the university's Global Learning Center at 84 5th
Street NW in Atlanta, through Wednesday. The symposium has brought
together an international group of scientists, technologists,
engineers, mission designers, policymakers and students to discuss
the shuttle era's significant contributions and exchange ideas
about the future of space transportation.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will open the symposium on
Tuesday, June 7. Other speakers include agency personnel such as
astronaut Shannon Lucid; Bill Hill, assistant associate
administrator for the Space Shuttle Program; and Michael Gazarik,
deputy chief technologist.
"The Space Shuttle Program has accomplished many amazing things
for the entire world," Bolden said. "Not least of which is the
construction of the International Space Station, which will anchor
our human spaceflight activities for the coming decade. It will
provide unparalleled opportunities for critical research and
technology demonstrations that will help us reach destinations
farther in the solar system."
Speakers will highlight some of the many scientific discoveries
about Earth, the solar system and the universe enabled by the
shuttle program and how it has advanced technology and affected
peoples' lives across the globe.
"The space shuttle program is an engineering accomplishment no
other country has been able to duplicate," said Robert Loewy,
conference chair and Georgia Tech professor of aerospace
engineering. "The symposium is intended to honor those who
contributed to the design, construction, operation and scientific
data-taking that the three decades of the shuttle's operation have
The shuttle program has spanned 30 years of operation, and its
last flight will be the STS-135 mission targeted for a July 8
launch. The five orbiters, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery,
Atlantis and Endeavour, have flown more than 130 times, carrying
more than 360 people into space and traveling more than 500 million
miles. Designed to return to Earth and land like a glider, the
shuttle was the first successful reusable space vehicle.