Monday, May 16, 2011

Endeavor's Last Launch

This morning marked the last launch for the space shuttle Endeavor. As any resident of the Space Coast, I made sure to be out in my yard to see it, but mother nature had other plans:
This was all you could see throughout all of Titusville.Even though I am directly across the river from the launch pad, I couldn't see anything other than clouds. Luckily, I was able to see it on tv.
It was a great launch, but very bittersweet. It's strange to think that something that has occurred regularly for all of my life will no longer happen. As a kid growing up in the Space Coast, I honestly thought the launches were annoying. They cause heavy traffic and everyone around me seemed to lose their minds when one was going on. I couldn't see what the big deal was. Now that I'm older, I have a greater appreciation and understanding for the space program and what it does for us all. Everyone in the world has been affected by its innovation. Heck, we wouldn't have braces or velcro if it wasn't for the space program. It's unfortunate that everyone seems to have forgotten that it's not just about "controlling space." I will admit that the space program as a whole needs to severely cut the fat - they are one of the worst run bureaucracies I've ever personally witnessed - but it's not something that needs to be cut out completely. It will be interesting to see what happens with it all. The general consensus of the country seems to be that someone will magically swoop in and take over the space program so we don't have to give it over to the Russians, but let me just tell you: That is not going to happen. While everyone else doesn't seem to have let that sink in, everyone who works for or while NASA knows that this really could mark the end. I sincerely hope not, but we need to do something about it other than just leaving it all to government officials who say they care about this area yet decide to close down the one job-driving program of this entire area and put thousands of people out of a job.

Anyway, sorry. Hot button issue. In a nutshell, it was a good launch. I just wish I had been able to actually see it.

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