This morning our family paused the 'getting ready' routine to watch the beginning of the last flight of the Space Shuttles. Endeavor piggy-backing from Kennedy Space Center to Los Angeles is not quite the Shuttle legacy I would envision (LA, really!?!), but it was special to watch its last take off from Kennedy.
I'm proud that my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle John played roles in the building, launches, and missions of the Shuttle program. It was in fact the last major program in which they were involved at NASA. To see the Shuttle fly off was actually emotional for me. It was a goodbye again to my Uncle and a salute to all of the men and women heroes that led our nation's space program forward to new frontiers.
Space exploration has been one of the biggest economic stimulators over the past 5 decades, and yet, the American people and the politicians are reluctant to fund the program. Our short-sightedness and our concern for today's dollar are appalling and setting back human exploration by decades. Imagine if Spain had said, "You know, Colombus, it was expensive getting there. Let's just keep fighting the Muslims and save our money for more guns and making our people happy." Ironic that the same issues were at play; however, Spain had the courage and foresight to push the envelope. Humanity would never be the same.
After this flight, I wonder, when will we fly again for the stars?