In 1873 Jules Verne published the novel “Around the World in 80 Days“, in which an English Gentleman attempts to circumnavigate the Earth on bet. At the time the story was taken as simple fiction.
In 1889 Nellie Bly actually succeeded in making the trip and did it in just 72 days.
Today the Space Shuttle can make the trip in about 90 minuets.
A new plasma based rocket engine system, named Vasimr, has just recently been approved for testing on the ISS in 2012. The new engine could make it possible to travel to Mars in as little as 39 days, making around trip voyage of less than 80 days.
could we finally be on the Brink.
On Wednesday the Space Shuttle Discovery returned home from it’s last mission in space, STS-133. In the course of it’s 27 year career, Discovery has logged 148,221,675 miles, during 39 missions, having orbited the Earth 5,830 times.
After undergoing removal of it’s engines and any other hazardous materials that may be on board, Discovery will take one last flight on the back of a modified 747 to it’s new home at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, where it will take the place of Space Shuttle Enterprise.
NASA has set the date for Endeavour’s move from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39A for Wednesday March 9th at 8am. This will be Endeavour’s final trip into space before the end of the shuttle program. The launch is planed for April 19th.
STS-134, will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station and will commanded by Mark Kelly, husband of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot on January 8th in Tucson, Arizona.