Friday, July 8, 2011

History in Motion

The shuttle Atlantis lifted off today for the last time.

The space shuttle Atlantis stands ready for its final mission.
The space shuttle Atlantis stands ready for its final mission.
(Credit: William Harwood/CBS News)

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It's hard to believe that there will be no more shuttle missions in my lifetime.  I grew up with rocket launches and the space shuttle program.  In fact, my Dad used to work at Cape Canaveral.  I was young, but I remember visiting the Cape and being fascinated with the space program; witnessing a rocket launch and remembering the intense heat that was felt from a mile away.  I remember wanting to be an astronaut when I grew up.  As a young adult, I remember working at Walt Disney World and standing outside watching for the Challenger after it lifted off.  I vividly remember the excitement of seeing it head towards space and then the horror of seeing a huge fireball in the sky and being totally shocked as the reality of what I had just witnessed began to sink in.  I've heard countless sonic booms as the shuttle would return home after a mission.  As a Central Floridian, I was even beginning to take all the shuttle launches and returns for granted.  Unfortunately, I didn't even catch the launch on TV today as time got away from me, but, Atlantis is on its way with four astronauts and loads of supplies for the last time.

It's sad, but I pray the mission will be a success and for a safe return.  Godspeed Atlantis and crew!

Till next time,


Anonymous said...

Wow! This is news to me! How in the world did I not hear about this? :( This is sad, real sad.
I remember being home sick from school, watching Challenger launch and then seeing the explosion. I knew immediately that something had went horribly wrong.

How awesome that your Dad worked at Cape Canaveral!

Connie in Hartwood said...

My uncle worked at the Cape. When I was a kid living in Italy in the late 1960s, because of the time difference, we got up in the dead of night to watch the first moon landing. Even as an adult, I always got teary whenever I watched a rocket/Shuttle launch ... and I watched every one I could.

Like everything in life, the space program has to evolve. I just wish it wasn't so sad.

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