Friday, May 14, 2010

Shuttle "Atlantis" Final Flight

At NASA Kennedy Space Center  space shuttle "Atlantis" launched it's it's 32nd and final flight today that occurred at exactly 2:20p.m EDT.  I was fortunate enough to be able to see this historic event right from the comfort of my front lawn and was able to click off 4 photos before I lost sight of it.

During the 12-day flight, Atlantis and six astronauts will fly to the International Space Station, leaving behind a Russian Mini Research Module, a set of batteries for the station's truss and dish antenna, along with other replacement parts.

This mission signifies the last days and final chapter for the space shuttle program and will forever change the state of Florida.

St Petersburg Times states:

 NASA hopes to launch space shuttle Discovery on Feb. 27, and people in the Tampa Bay region may be able to see its fiery glow on the eastern horizon. But such sightings are numbered. NASA plans to stop flying shuttles by the end of next year, ending nearly three decades as the centerpiece of the American space program. "The impacts on Florida, both tangible and intangible, are just really remarkable," said Pat Duggins, a radio reporter at an Orlando NPR affiliate and author of Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program. Although some are pushing to keep shuttles flying for a few extra years, only nine more missions officially remain on the books. After that, Florida is likely to lose thousands of space-related jobs, not to mention an icon that has become part of the state's image.



I too am saddened by the news that the Obama admin is shutting down the NASA shuttle programs.

We should be further invested in our space program. If we spent the money we have spent on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, on the space program ... well, who knows how much further in space we'd be.

trusk4u said...

It is sad , but I look forward to the next chapter in the space program whatever it may be! I don't believe that this is the end of it all. Look how far we have come in such a short time. Gosh, I remember watching the moon landing on television as a kid.

Ann said...

When one door closes, another opens. I hope it is soon though. I have always wanted to see one land and take off. I have seen and heard the sonic booms when landing at Edwards Air Force base. Amazing. Thanks for sharing the pictures.