Goodbye American shuttle program. Those shuttles were always losing tiles, and freezing up and developing glitches that delayed missions but they still performed magnificently in a medium that is totally antithetical to life – space.
America always was held in thrall when a space shuttle was due to launch or land and there were, of course, tragedies which broke our hearts and triumphs which made them soar.
Yesterday I watched the shuttle Discovery ride piggy-back on a Boeing 747 from the Kennedy Space Center to Washington, DC and then on to its new home at the Smithsonian Air and Space Center. That’s it. The shuttle has landed. The mission is over.
Maybe private space flights will happen, but they won’t be the national endeavor that space exploration has been until now.
Consider this my tribute to an amazing era in space exploration when we logged space miles the way we log air miles. How long will it be before we add more space miles and add more of that very particular brand of excitement, pride, and occasional grief that crossing a new frontier offered?