Eiglis is the Great Dragon of the Spring, in case you were wondering.
Finally a groundhog agrees with me… Spring is coming early this year. I know that sounds silly given how much of the continent is under heavy snow right now… but out here in the high dessert of the Sierra’s, you can smell spring in the air.
Of course the groundhog’s track record isn’t particularly stellar.
In unrelated news, it looks like the shuttles Endeavor and Atlantis may get a reprieve. A study is underway, or will be underway, to look into what it would cost to keep the orbiters in long-term storage in flight-ready status, rather than refit them for display in museums. It might have them moving from government-operation to commercial-operation. Essentially they may become ‘private’ spacecraft. Lest us forget, as commercial space takes off, we have two big players that have decades of experience under their belt working for NASA: Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Jointly they have a venture called United Space Alliance and USA has been doing work for NASA involving shuttle operations as well as work in support of the International Space Station (we really need to give it a name already). They may be taking up the shuttles to continue operating them privately after NASA completes its flight manifest.
To date the only retirement request NASA has made is on Discovery, the oldest remaining shuttle in the fleet.