Friday, July 8, 2011
Space Shuttle Launches Today for the Last Time
To me, there are few things that are more beautiful and awe inspiring than a Space Shuttle launch, and they have captivated me since I woke up early in April of 1981 to watch the Columbia blast off that first day.
Over 30 years later, Columbia and Challenger are gone. Discovery and Endeavor are retired. Enterprise is in a museum, but Atlantis will fly one more time when it blasts off from Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Hopefully, all will go well and Atlantis will land safely on the 42nd Anniversary of the first Lunar Landing. Sadly, that will end the United States' manned space exploration for now, a casualty of budget cuts and an aging shuttle fleet.
I will hate to see the shuttle program go, but it will be nice to see the thing fly just one more time. Godspeed to the four astronauts on this final mission. Come home safely.