End of an Era

As a child, my imagination was fueled by the visions of science fiction writers and the space program.  With the space program I saw adventure, scientific advancement, and hope for indomitable spirit of mankind.

Now? I’m watching the shuttle Discovery landing for for the last time at Dulles International Airport in Virginia (4/17/12 10ish am EST).

I mourn my childhood dreams.

The US space shuttles are being retired over the course of 2012. There will be three additional opportunities to see see this magnificent site.  The shuttle Enterprise will go to New York, land at JFK then be floated up the river to the Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan.

Kim Shifflet/NASA

While I believe we will eventually get back into space, the program will most likely turn commercial. Nothing wrong with that, it might make the experience reachable for us citizenry.

My imaginative meanderings in space travel and exploration will never be diminished, I sorrow at the loss of momentum in development. And, hope.

Hope that mankind will once again walk on the moon and go further.



  • To me there’s such a sense of irony in this. The driving force to go into space was to “beat” the Russians. And until NASA has something new, most of our astronauts will get into space on—Russian rockets.

    I’m glad the Cold War is over. But I’ll miss the space program, too.

    • Maybe world peace will come from joint space programs. Mmmm, there’s a kernel of a story. 🙂

  • I was sad to see this, too. 😦

    So much history – both tragedy and triumph – surrounded the shuttle program. I hope our curiosity continues and our travels continue.

    • The travels will continue, maybe in our imaginations for a while. Then we’ll see a renaissance.

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