Why is the Space Shuttle program ending?
Over the last few years it has become increasingly clear that we need a new rocket to help us accomplish our future goals. The space shuttle program has become increasingly expensive and the shuttles are aging. The shuttles also can’t take humans to the moon, to an asteroid, or to any other planetary bodies. With the aim of eventually exploring Mars, the United States decided to develop a new rocket to replace the space shuttles.
Over the years the Space Shuttle program has seen many highlights. Among them the launch and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, the building of the International Space Station, and many missions to conduct scientific research. Tragedy also struck the program twice of course, with the loss of Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003.
So this Friday, Space Shuttle Atlantis will be the last shuttle to launch into space. Its destination will be the International Space Station, to which it will deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts. Seeing a shuttle launch brings into perspective how strongly bound to the Earth we are like almost no other event can. It is a tremendous display of energy, the human quest for knowledge and exploration, and the achievements of technology.To mark this historic event, we are showing the IMAX® classic “The Dream is Alive” on Friday morning starting at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a presentation on the Space Shuttle and Canadian space exploration (with many prizes to give away!). And of course, if the launch goes ahead as planned, we will be showing it live at 11:26 a.m. in the IMAX theatre to participants of the event. For more information, visit the Events page.
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