It’s going to be like saying good-bye to an old friend when the Discovery shuttle lands and then is retired. I’m sure she’ll provide great learning opportunities for millions of people who will be able to visit her at the Smithsonian, should they decide that’s the appropriate spot.
I realized today that I’m quite sad about the end of NASA’s shuttle program. Throughout my lifetime it’s been there, I’ve watched countless shuttle launches and remember the Challenger and Columbia disasters. It’s been a constant, a program through which I have lived vicariously through. Everyone wonders what’s out there and those select few who have gone have provided a window for the rest of us. Sure we will get pictures from unmanned rockets and satellites but somehow it’s not the same as hearing the pure excitement and thrill in the reaction of an astronaut.
I’m sure there will be more space travel, after all Mars is still out there beckoning for exploration, but as of now no new shuttles are being built and the program is on hold. There are two more missions with Endeavour blasting off next month and Atlantis in June. Since 1984, Discovery has taken flight 39 times and logged 148 million miles … a beacon of space travel that is awe inspiring and symbol of a program that has captured the hearts of many.
To me it’s elementary … I’m Sandra Watson