I stayed up all night to watch the ending of the fabled U.S. Space Shuttle program. Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at the Space Center in Florida at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time Zone on 21 July 2011.
It was a bitter-sweet moment as I thought about future U.S. astronauts having to hitch rides into space on a Russian craft in the coming years only to be later followed by U.S. launches of the old format space capsules of days gone by.
I’ve made numerous trips across America to visit the Space Center and the wonderful spacecraft housed there. My mind wonders this morning if the United States will ever see another manned lifting craft program like the shuttle again or if we will descend in to the ranks of the also ran in future space endeavors.
When Atlantis set down, I sent an email to our children and grandchildren with a note stating that I hope they would enjoy a continuing adventure in space exploration like I’ve enjoyed since early in the 1950’s.