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The Space Shuttle's Last Flight (2011)

The story of the space shuttle - it's triumphs and disasters - and the dream of building an affordable and reusable spacecraft




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As Atlantis completes its 135th and final mission, this definitive documentary charts the rise and fall of the most ambitious space programme ever undertaken, the space shuttle. For the past three decades since it first launch in 1981, the shuttle has become an iconic symbol of America's technological dominance while at the same time rewriting the rules of space travel. Here is reusable vehicle that could lift off like a rocket, carry people and cargo into Earth's orbit, then land on a runway like a plane and do it time after time. But two disasters, in 1986 and 2003, and the tragic loss of 14 astronauts shocked the World, and signalled the end of the programme, and the end of an era. However, its legacy has been extraordinary. In 30 years of service, the shuttle has flown more miles, completed more missions and put more men and women in orbit than any other spacecraft in history. It has transformed our understanding of the universe, aided technological advancement, and enabled us to ... Written by Darlow Smithson Productions

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23 July 2011 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Emotional but well pictured
10 March 2013 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I felt that this movie made a big emphasis on the emotional cost of the shuttle program to the US, like they were apologizing for not going to the moon again or investing in missions outside the Earth's orbit.

The US decided to spend everything they had in developing the shuttle program in order to build the ISS, and they ended up having two major incidents where men and women died, so this film pays tribute to them and shows veterans of NASA talking about people they knew personally going up to space and not coming back, so it gets emotional for some parts.

I think I would've liked more of a technical story where they speak about the design origins, the first tests, and all the missions that flew well, did their job and returned. I would've liked more exposition on the amazing characteristics of the shuttle, and they rather showed lots of their very embarrassing design issues like the foam that crashes the heat shields on every takeoff and that was responsible for the Columbia tragedy... but the visuals and the narrative are very well done, a nice tribute to the last shuttle mission and a good overall introduction to the shuttle legacy.

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