It really is the end of an era as NASA prepares to retire the Space Shuttle program in the near future. For the past 30 years these spacecraft have come to symbolize both triumph and tragedy for U.S. space endeavors and as a kid I remember learning about them in grade school, thinking they were incredibly cool and honestly, who hasn’t seen a picture of one and thought, “Ooh, I’d love to fly one of those around for a day.” After all, if you’re going into space why not go with a bit of style? J
Their impact has been felt not just in the classroom, but in the public imagination and popular culture as well. From the cheesy laser-wielding astronauts they transported in the 1979 James Bond film, “Moonraker,” to the futuristic versions brought to life in 1990s “Armageddon,” the space shuttles have for a generation helped define how we’ve thought about space travel and to this day still have the ability to inspire awe whether it’s watching a launch at Cape Canaveral or witnessing a return landing from outer space.
Okay, now that I’ve made my teary-eyed statements about the space shuttle’s retirement (and there are a few extra tears tossed in for the fact that Seattle’s Museum of Flight didn’t win one of the 3 shuttles going out for future exhibition), I thought I’d share a great album of photos featuring space shuttle Discovery from Boston.com. These are great pictures and wonderfully convey the spirit of the shuttle program and its mission.
Space shuttle program, I salute you! Thank you for all your years of dedicated service. J
What are your thoughts and memories of the space shuttle program?