At 14:20 (2:20pm) EDT the Shuttle Atlantis left the pad in Florida for its last trip into orbit and the ISS. Maybe it’s the sailor in me that thinks of ships as living things but watching the picture perfect launch I felt sad. I know the shuttles never lived up to their hype a victim of Nixon’s political scheming and Carter’s lack of vision.
The Shuttles are dangerous and almost bankrupted NASA but the idea that when Atlantis returns it will be striped of usable parts and sent to some museum to be gawked at and rust away as the US forgets what made us great.
There are two more launches until the USA the nation that landed on the Moon will have no way of its own to send humans into space. How the great have fallen we once dared to do the imposable, to walk were others feared to trend, to go where no man has gone before. This is the beginning of sad days made sadder because I know most of my fellow Americans do not know or care what we are losing.