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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

End of an Era

Today was a historic day and not just because you got to pay your taxes two days later than normal, which is a pretty big deal for procrastinators.
On the way, the 747 flew by the Washington, D.C. so that kids and space lovers could see it. It flew by the Pentagon, circled the National Mall 3 times, and flew low enough for onlookers to see it as it made the journey from Florida.
It’s marking the end of an era. When I was a kid I remember seeing one of the Shuttles launch from my grandmother’s hospital room in Tampa. I remember watching the Challenger tragedy as it happened, and watching Columbia break up over the southern US. I remember studying what the astronauts on missions were doing, how they lived in the Shuttle.
Inner Earth orbit projects will now be run by a private company called Space X. At the end of the month Space X is testing “Dragon”, a vehicle to ferry men and material to the International Space station. NASA is moving into deep space exploration and wants private companies, such as Space X, to take up the slack on inner Earth orbit projects.
It was nice to walk down memory lane for a bit and remember the Shuttle. The other Shuttles are going to get similar treatment as they move to their new homes on the Intrepid in New York City, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the California Science Center in LA.
Hopefully the Shuttles will still inspire kids to reach for the stars, even though the Shuttles, and the kids, are stuck on earth.

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