The Space Shuttle's Final Mission

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 (NASA via Getty)

The majority of Americans find it "essential" for the U.S. to stay a world leader in human spaceflight, according to a recent national poll. Yet the last mission of the U.S. space shuttle program is scheduled to take off on Friday. How will the shuttering of this historic endeavor change our dreams for space exploration?


G. Scott Hubbard, professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and former director of the NASA Ames Research Center

Garrett E. Reisman, former NASA astronaut and chief of the Manned Spaceflight Project at SpaceX, a Bay Area space exploration technologies company

Jack Boyd, senior adviser to NASA Ames' center director and senior adviser to the Ames History Office at NASA Ames Research Center