Posted by: tscottmorton | July 21, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis… The End of an Era

The End of an Era

Only one hour ago, Space Shuttle Atlantis came to a stop on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Port in Florida, sadly (from launch to landing) with not even a word about it from the American President. Be that as it may…

I remember…

On a sweltering hot July 1969 evening in Connecticut, family and I sat glued to the television. No laptop, no Ipad, nothing but my transistor radio and the “color tube”. A moment of inexplicable amazement as Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon.

For the few years that followed, I was no less amazed at the great accomplishments of each Apollo mission. When it became clear that Apollo 17 would be the last, I grieved. What would be next? How could that be topped? And for some years there was stagnation in our space program. But then came the Space Shuttle.

Again, with eyes wide in wonder, I watched Shuttle Columbia complete its first mission, coming to rest only seconds and just feet from that which was calculated. Arguably the greatest flying machine ever built. And now it’s over… again my grieving. But it’s OK.

Considering the technological increases since the design of our Space Shuttle, one can only imagine what we can do next. If American history repeats itself, and I am absolutely confident that we will, we shall once again produce no less than the amazing in space. It just takes patience and a vision, technologically speaking, things we Americans do well.

To our great astronautical engineers at Nasa I say with confidence and hope, “Amaze us again!”

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