As a 9 year old boy, I sat on a cold school hall floor watching Columbia lift-off on the Space Shuttle’s maiden voyage (after the aborted first attempt!) and usher in the a new era in space travel.
As I watched that 2 man crew make their 8½ minute ride into space, I dreamt that I too might one day make that same journey aboard one of these new wonderful space planes.
Despite a couple of tragedies along the way, NASA’s Space Transportation System achieved amazing things over the next 30 years.
However with the safe landing of Atlantis, that era is now over and inside me there is a devastated 9 year old boy who never got to enjoy that journey.
Goodbye Shuttle, you will be missed. Another piece of engineering excellence retired without a suitable replacement; just like Concorde.
Let’s hope that Governments allow the generation that the Shuttle inspired, to continue building the visionary spacecraft to further our exploration of space.