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7 Cartoons About the End of the Space Shuttle

This was the 33rd and final flight for Atlantis, which spent 307 days in space, orbited Earth 4,848 times and traveled nearly 126 million miles.

The space shuttle Atlantis touched down at Kennedy Space Center this morning, marking the end of a successful chapter in the nation’s space program. I saw some interesting statistics from NASA on twitter this morning. This was the 33rd and final flight for Atlantis, which spent 307 days in space, orbited Earth 4,848 times and traveled nearly 126 million miles. It was also the 19th night landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a fitting end for the 135th and final space shuttle mission

The question still remains – what’s next?

John Cole, cartoonist for the Scranton Times-Tribune, thinks the U.S. is giving up more than the shuttle program…

Green Bay Press-Gazette cartoonist Joe Heller notes recent programs that are no longer flying…

According to David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star, we’re planting a different kind of flag…

While Mike Keefe of the Denver Post has a novel idea how to use the retired shuttle fleet…

Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner compares the Shuttle to other workhorses being mothballed…

Jimmy Margulies of The Record wonders what the future of U.S. manned spaceflight will be like…

While John Darkow of the Columbia Daily Tribune focuses on more immediate concerns…

RELATED: Check out our additional Space Shuttle cartoon collections!

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

13 replies on “7 Cartoons About the End of the Space Shuttle”

The shuttle program more than met its stated goals, although those were comparatively limited in scope, reflecting a certain boredom with space science on the part of various administrations and the public. The promise of a lunar laboratory as a follow-on to Apollo, and the logical next step to “boots on the ground” on Mar, all developments of the Kennedy administration initiatives, has not been realized. The loss of highly qualified NASA staff, and a lack of creative leadership, are rapidly making America a “has been” in space. Aggressive Chinese and other initiiatives will soon outpace us, and we will be asking for space on the Chinese moon and Mars flights. It is very apparent that Mr. Obama is the least science oriented President in modern times, and his social agendas hold sway at the expense of programs in which he has little or no interest or knowledge.

NASA’s entire budget is a tiny fraction of what we wasted in Iraq. Heck, it’s less than what the Pentagon spends on air conditioning in Iraq. But the Federal government has decided it’s much more important to give massive welfare to giga-millionaires, oil companies and agribusiness than it is to maintain our scientific leadership. So America’s empire is crumbling, but look on the bright side: the Koch brothers can sip martinis on an even bigger yacht. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

The space program is not dead; it’s going stronger than
ever. Just look at congress, both parties are in some far outer orbit, and lost
in space hopelessly circling the black hole.

“… Mr. Obama is the least science oriented President in modern times …”

That’s hilarious.  He might not be as bright in that area as Jimmy Carter was, but clearly the most incurious and science-illiterate president in recent times was G.W. Bush, followed by Ronald Reagan.  Mr. Obama’s capacity for understanding science and the import of science-related issues is probably just behind that of Carter and Kennedy.  How he acts, however, is governed by the marching orders he gets from the corporate interests that own him.  That’s also why he’s done nothing meaningful about any social agendas.

“… Mr. Obama is the least science oriented President in modern times …”

That’s hilarious.  He might not be as bright in that area as Jimmy Carter was, but clearly the most incurious and science-illiterate president in recent times was G.W. Bush, followed by Ronald Reagan.  Mr. Obama’s capacity for understanding science and the import of science-related issues is probably just behind that of Carter and Kennedy.  How he acts, however, is governed by the marching orders he gets from the corporate interests that own him.  That’s also why he’s done nothing meaningful about any social agendas.

Mr. Carter, as I recall, was not a “scientist” but rather a marine engineer for the Navy with nuclear training. Mr. Bush actually stands up quite well with knowledge of petroleum geology, stratigraphy and energy economics in a practical sense. Further, he was a pilot and flew the very difficult F-106, perhaps the most complex combat aircraft of its time. He has training in avionics, radar, etc. Mr. Obama is notable for a complete lack of any training in any technical field and no apparent appreciation of “science” in any form. His remarkable campaign gaff: If elected President, I intend to do away with all forms of carbon,” is indicative of zero understanding of science or the natural world. He apparently did not do well in geography or American history either, when he said, “I have visited all 53 states.” Mr. Gore’s accomplishment is college science was a “D” in a natural science course. Mr. Bush, by the way, did much better in college than John Kerry.

Why is this ‘presidential Jerk’ performing only one task, the total destruction of America?

That’s nice.
Good to see someone has moved on from 9-11 and Katrina and the global economic meltdown to find something to really get emotional about.

The Space Shuttle program was an exciting piece of American experience.  I wonder what is next.

The Space Shuttle program was an exciting piece of American experience.  I wonder what is next.

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