Starting with STS 1 in 1981, and Shuttle Columbia, NASA has made 135 trips into space, flying hundreds of millions of miles, and today…Today for the final time, the crew of Atlantis thanked the entire mission team for giving them the chance to become a part of history in a bitter-sweet farewell.
Mission Commander Chris Ferguson said “After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle’s earned its place in history. And it’s come to a final stop.”
After the breakup of Shuttle Columbia in 2003, NASA and the government decided to retire the fleet at the end of construction on the International Space Station. Today, that retirement begins as Atlantis will be prepared for Static Display at the place she launched from 12 days ago.
What’s Next For NASA?
For now, US Astronauts will be ferried to the ISS via Russian Spacecraft at a price of 63 Million per person until the planning team can come up with the next step that will continue human exploration of space. Wether it be to the Moon, or Mars, or even further, The mission still continues.
The Personal Note..
I grew up watching those brave Men and Women make thier way to the stars… I cheered the triumphs, and cried with those who lost loved ones. To this day, I still remenber the final flight of Shuttle Challenger (STS 51-L) where we lost Christa McAculiffe, the first teacher to have the chance to explore space from her perspective. The Return of Sen. John Glenn to the program, and the Final liftoff of Endeavour, and Now the end of an era.
It is Bitter-sweet for me as well. Saying goodbye to the Shuttle fleet is like saying goodbye to an old friends. It’s kind of like we grew up together, making mistakes, learning from them, and growing to become who we were.
Let’s not give up on our dreams… NASA has proven that we can make the journey happen. Let’s give them everything they need to continue to push the envelope. and make not only the dreams of every American, but Every Human come true.
It’s Been one Hell of a ride… Now lets make an even better one!