Well, the last space shuttle flight went off as expected on Friday. Kind of sad and yet bittersweet to see the book close on 30 years of history.
Remember studying the 9 planets back in grade school and how exciting the textbook chapters on space were? How many of us made models of the planets for Science Fair projects? I never did, but in my spare time I often drew pictures of them in my notebook.
My grade school even had a Young Astronauts Club. We did things like flying kites, building rockets, and even created padded compartments for hard boiled eggs which we threw off the top of the school building to see whose egg would survive without getting cracked. This was to somehow simulate building a safety module that an astronaut could survive in.
My 8th grade year our school held a paper airplane contest. The winner got to go to some larger county wide contest and our representative from our grade won. The entire class got to take a trip to the Space Museum in Huntsville, Alabama that year. That was a fun trip. I’m sure one of the retired shuttles will end up there on display. The sad thing was that summer the kid who won the trip for us was in a four wheeler accident and didn’t even get to go.
So what’s next for N.A.S.A? According to the article, lay offs. Yep, trainers and such aren’t needed anymore now that all of this is over. But, N.A.S.A. plans to save money now and invest in further space exploration outside Earth’s orbit and such by 2025.
I never wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, but I can’t help but wonder what tomorrow’s generation will dream of when they look up at the stairs.