If all goes according to plan today [Friday], the Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off on the Shuttle program’s 135th and final mission in 30 years. As NASA--working with a drastically reduced budget--retools for a different kind of mission and private companies take over the bulk of space flight, what happens next is anyone’s guess: space hotel chains? Asteroid mining? A carbon footprint so high it single-handedly melts a tenth of the polar ice caps?
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