American Morning

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August 16th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Atlantis crew discusses what it was like to fly NASA's final shuttle mission

After more than 30 years, NASA's shuttle era came to a close when Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21st, concluding the final 13 day mission aimed at stocking up the International Space Station.

This week, the crew from the last shuttle mission are in New York to host a free science & space exhibition open to the public taking place on Aug 17th from 10am to 7pm at the Eventi Hotel's plaza.

Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim join Ali Velshi on American Morning today to discuss their mission and to weigh in on what life is like now that they're back on planet Earth.

Filed under: Shuttle • Space
July 21st, 2011
09:49 AM ET

Now that Atlantis has landed, what's next for NASA?

Atlantis landed safely back on Earth this morning at the Kennedy Space Center, capping NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

It was a sentimental occasion for the four astronauts who flew the final mission and delivered more than 9,400 pounds of spare parts, equipment and other supplies to the International Space Station.

NASA launched the space shuttle program on April 12, 1981, and has since sent five shuttles on a total of 135 missions, bringing 355 people from 16 countries to space.

Today on American Morning, Leroy Chiao, a former astronaut who has flown on three shuttle missions, joins Ali Velshi and Kiran Chetry to talk about the success of the final mission and to discuss the future of NASA programs and private space travel.

Filed under: NASA • Shuttle
July 8th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Bob Crippen reflects on NASA's first space shuttle mission

When John Young and Bob Crippen launched on the space shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, it was the dawn of a new era of space travel.

Now that the program is wrapping up, does Crippen think that the program accomplished everything it set out to achieve?

He joins Ali Velshi on American Morning today to reflect on his astronaut experience and to weigh in on the future of NASA and space exploration.

Filed under: NASA • Shuttle
July 8th, 2011
10:09 AM ET

Commercial spaceflights: The next step for the U.S. space program?

Garrett Reisman, former NASA astronaut, flew on the space shuttle twice, performed spacewalks, and spent about three months living on the International Space Station.

He recently left NASA to take a job with the commercial firm Space X, which hopes to one day launch NASA astronauts and paying tourists to space on its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket.

Reisman joins Ali Velshi today on American Morning to talk about the future of the private and commercial space industry now that the shuttle era is coming to a close.

Filed under: NASA • Shuttle
July 8th, 2011
09:50 AM ET

What's next for NASA's space program? A former astronaut looks at the possibilities

The Atlantis mission will close the books on NASA's space shuttle program. Where does space exploration go from here?

This morning, CNN's Ali Velshi takes an in-depth look at the future of space travel with Jim Halsell, a former astronaut who has flown five shuttle missions - two as a commander, three as a pilot. He's now a vice president with ATK Aerospace Systems, working on a commercial vehicle to take NASA's astronauts back to space.

In this video, he explains where he thinks space travel will go in the future.

Filed under: NASA • Shuttle
July 8th, 2011
09:40 AM ET

Is the shuttle program ending too soon? NASA deputy administrator responds

In less than two weeks, NASA's space shuttle program will be nothing more than a footnote in history. And many critics, including former astronauts, are blasting the space agency for not having a new program ready to replace it.

CNN's Ali Velshi spoke with NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver about the criticism and the future of space exploration.

Filed under: NASA • Shuttle
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