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For you space cadets in the Washington region, our very own Heather Goss will be talking Sunday evening (July 17) at the recently saved Arlington Planetarium. She will speak about space exploration after the space shuttle.Besides shamelessly promoting one of our contributors, this also is an opportunity to help raise money for a good cause – and one that I’ve been telling you about for a while – as well as a chance to highlight a fascinating debate here on AviationWeek.com over whether the shuttle was worth it. In the July 18 special double issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology, we have no less than John Shannon, NASA’s shuttle program manager, offering a robust defense while former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin suggests otherwise. Click on the opinions to join the debate, or leave a comment below.Meanwhile, get the latest AW&ST to see Senior Editor for Space Frank Morring's exclusive update on the Space Launch System, NASA’s next big rocket program. As Frank reports, Congress and NASA continue to spar over how fast – and indeed what direction – government-sponsored heavy lift should develop.Oh, and as for the good cause, recall that the David M. Brown Planetarium – named for the late STS-107 astronaut, a local schools alumnus – had been targeted for elimination by county school leadership, controversially, until a grassroots fund-raising effort raked in more than $435,000 to save it. Reportedly more than 3,500 individuals, businesses and foundations ponied up in the past year to keep the 50-year-old planetarium going instead of turning it into (admittedly needed) classroom space. If you come this Sunday you can hear Heather and help raise a little more.
os99, shuttle, SLS, Planetarium
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