STS-134, will take questions live on May 2.Tomorrow, Friday, April 29, the penultimate space shuttle mission launches and a 30 year shuttle program draws to a close. Mark Kelley, NASA Commander of Space Shuttle Endeavor's final flight, aka mission
Kelley and his crew will take questions via YouTube and Twitter and their responses will be broadcast live over the PBS News Hour's YouTube channel. Miles O'Brien, a space reporter with decades of experience in broadcasting, will moderate.
"Don't be shy," says Public Sector Program Manager Ginny Hunt on the YouTube Blog. "if you're most curious about how to prepare for a spacewalk or wondering if the astronauts have a speech prepared for an extra-terrestrial encounter, this is your chance to find out."
According to NASA:
"During the 14-day mission, Endeavour will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre. This will be the 36th shuttle mission to the International Space Station."
Because we value facts more than context, data more than information, this is quite probably the second-to-last time we will send human beings into space for an indefinite period, maybe forever. For those of us who saw the first moon walk live on a grainy cart-mounted TV in elementary school, this is a tragedy. For others perhaps it's just sound fiscal decision-making. (And isn't that what space exploration is really all about?)
To Captain Kelly, pilot Greg Johnson and mission specialists Michael Finke, Roberto Vittori, Andrew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff: Kick ass, take names, get home.