I was working at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas when the first shuttle lifted off.
Now, 30 years later, the shuttle has come to its end of life in the NASA Space Program. It does not seem like its been 3 decades , 135 flights and of course, many deliveries to the International Space Station.
The spaceship and the two other surviving shuttles will become museum pieces, like the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules and the Wright brothers’ flying machine before them. NASA astronauts, a dwindling breed, will have to hitch rides to the space station aboard Russian Soyuz capsules for at least three to five years.
Shuttles launched the Hubble Space Telescope and fixed its blurry vision; built the space station, the world’s largest orbiting structure; and opened the final frontier to women, minorities, schoolteachers, even a prince. The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, became the oldest person ever in space, thanks to the shuttle. He was 77 at the time; he turned 90 this week.
Atlantis will go on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex in 2013. Space shuttle Discovery is headed for a Smithsonian Institution hangar in Virginia. And Endeavour is bound for the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
NASA has new marching orders for space exploration and I look forward to seeing their progress. In the meantime, BRAVO for the work accomplished thus far! 😀