Space Shuttle Era Ends, What’s Next?

The Space Shuttle Era ends and I’m sad. The Space Shuttles were transformed into museum relics when they were delivered to the Smithsonian this week.

Space Shuttle Discovery arrives at Smithsonian
Photo Credit: NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Carolyn Russo

One wonders what the future holds for the manned American Space Program.

Will it be Lockheed Martin’s vision discussed in their YouTube video: A New Era of Space Exploration?

What will happen to the International Space Station?

According to NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, ‘failure is not an option.’ See the entire article “What’s Next for NASA?

I fear that the future of manned space flight may be dim, at least in the near future. I also believe that humans have an insatiable need to explore, to find frontiers, and that need will fuel new and exciting missions in space.

As the Space Shuttle era ends, what do you think will happen next? What do you think the future holds for manned space flight? For the International Space Station? For space exploration? As always, I appreciate your time and love your comments. Keep them coming!


  1. A lot of people in my area (Dayton, OH) are still mad about NYC getting a shuttle instead of it going to the National Museum of the USAF – or to Houston. As for NASA, I think private industry is already making a good showing of picking up there, but I do find it disappointing that we have to rely on Russia to transport our people to the space station until then!

    1. I’ll bet so, Jennette. I used to live in the Columbus, Ohio area and have been to the National Museum of the USAF.

      Yeah. Depending on Russia and Russian technology is disappointing. Hmm, the commercial developments . . . might be a good post! LOL.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. Hi Lynette

    Interest subject. I think NASA failed some time ago when they didn’t produce the shuttle’s replacement. We’re the biggest investors in the space station and can’t get up there without Russian heavy lift. Commercial stuff has a way to go. People rave about space tourism, but that’s just a ballistic shot to 70 miles for a couple of minutes. The shuttle/space station are another 150 miles further up. NASAs done a lot of really good things, but they’ve lost their way with manned flight at the moment.


    1. In a way I agree, Nigel. But I put the fail on the administration as well. NASA has always been given a shoestring budget by whatever the current administration. However, until President Obama, there has also been a goal to accomplish. President Obama has changed the direction of space travel to rely more heavily on commercial or private companies. This is both good and bad. It’s good because the US needs to step into the next century but I believe President Obama fell short by not making a goal to be achieved within a certain time frame. Without a specific goal, things could go willy nilly and it could be a long time before we accomplish any manned spaceflight.

  3. interesting topic. I think private ventures will carry the payload for a long time – because we want to explore. but as soon as we learn how to circumvent time or the vast distances of space, then the US will jump back in in a big way.

    1. I just hope the money is there for private ventures to carry the payload.

      as soon as we learn how to circumvent time or the vast distances of space, then the US will jump back in in a big way.

      You’re right. We gotta find a way to use wormhole, warp drive, and ‘beam me up, Scotty!” 🙂

      Seriously, there are some big obstacles to overcome. Thanks for the comment, Louise.

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