AstroBlog Follow Friday & Weekly Stumbles For 2011-09-09 

The retirement of the space shuttle has sparked a debate about the value of human spaceflight. Some see it as a waste of resources. Robots are better, cheaper alternatives, they say – and robotic missions don’t risk human lives. Others see the ability to fly humans into space as being tied up with national prestige, influence, and soft power. Continue reading

AstroBlog Follow Friday & Weekly Stumbles For 2011-09-02 

The International Space Station may have to start operating without a crew in November if Russian engineers don’t figure out soon what caused a recent rocket failure, NASA officials announced today. The unmanned Russian cargo ship Progress 44 crashed just after its Aug. 24 launch to deliver 2.9 tons of supplies to the orbiting lab. Continue reading

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