So Long, Shuttles…

Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off the launch pad for the final space shuttle mission. Image credit: NASA TV

The era of the space shuttle is over.  I have to admit, this feels a bit like the loss of a good friend.  I grew up watching the shuttles, was profoundly affected by the losses of Challenger and Columbia, and have been blessed to share the love of this program with my children.  I am so grateful that one of the perks of living in Florida is the ability to walk out onto our back patio and watch the shuttles launch, even though we live on the other side of the state.  We have made two trips to the Kennedy Space Center, a place where you can feel the history living all around you.  They are some of my favorite memories.  Watching Atlantis lift off for the last time today was…well, I can’t think of the words.  We had to watch it on TV because the rainy weather prevented us from having a clear view outside.  It seemed as sad as we were.  I can only hope this is but a pause for our space program, and that NASA will be up and in the atmosphere soon with something new and exciting.  In the meantime, farewell…and Godspeed.

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