Today I watched the press conference down at Kennedy Space Center celebrating the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle. This celebration was a bittersweet celebration. It focused on many of the accomplishments of NASA and the Space Shuttle but there was also a palpable feeling of sadness from the guests and speakers as they recognized that the era of the Space Shuttle is coming to an end. It almost felt like a funeral for a dear friend. There were lots of memories shared, lots of laughter had, lots of tears shed.
This was an event that I hope lots of people noticed because it really showed the heart of NASA and what it is all about. It really evoked in me the emotions of excitement I had about space and the shuttle I remember having as a kid. The adventure of going out there and, in the words of William Shatner, “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The space shuttles over the last 30 years have been doing just that. Now they will be going to museums. Discovery will find a permanent residence at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Endeavor will end up at the California Science Center. Atlantis will remain in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center. Finally, the Enterprise will go to New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. There is a full article here on the future of the space shuttles.
While the program ends its run, the legacy left behind will continue forward. The space shuttle program has made tons of scientific breakthroughs, it has brought together former enemies as friends, it has helped us explore the final frontier, and even more important, it has inspired us to dream! Let’s continue to dream and look to the future! Let’s build upon the legacy of the space shuttle and make something even greater!
Make it a GREAT day!