Today is the fiftieths anniversary of Yuri Gargarin's orbit around the Earth in Vostok I. It is also been 30 years since the the Space Shuttle Columbia launched for the first time in STS-I with John Young and Robert Crippen on board. Yuri's Night was begun in 2001 to celebration mankind achievements in space and honor those risked their lives in the exploration of space.
For many this is a bittersweet anniversary because of the two last shuttle flights coming up. With the United States mired in a budget crunch and recovering from a severe recession many wonder if there will ever be any human space flight from the US again.
I have no worries in this regards as we are on the verge of a new golden age of space. Elon Musk of SpaceX just recently announced the Falcon Heavy which, for the first time, will offer a cost into orbit of less than $1,000 per pound. This is a major breakthrough.
Then there are a variety of other companies like XCor, Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space, Bigelow and Virgin Galactic all in serious development of various space development. Thanks to Armadillo and Masten we now have practical and affordable rockets that can lift off, fly, and land on their tail.
I end this post with a link to this inspiring song called a Fire In the Sky. There are more at this website
Slügs in the Castle of the Mad Archmage
3 hours ago