Life as an Extreme Sport

The End of the Shuttle Era

I took a nap rather than actually sleep through the night, in order to watch STS-135 (Atlantis) land for the final time. For the entire space shuttle program’s final time. The shuttle program is 33 years old. I grew up watching the shuttles, from the Enterprise OV tests to Challenger and Columbia and all the launches and successes between. And now this, the bittersweet end. A program that started because JFK realized the importance of manned exploration of the world beyond ours, fueled by a space race against those evil commie Russians, now ends with American reliance on the Russians to get to the ISS at all. There might be a modicum of irony in that. Yes, the shuttle program is expensive – but it’s the kind of expensive I want my tax dollars going to. It’s the kind of expensive that brings back miraculous and amazing technology, research, and

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