Final Space Shuttle Launch TODAY

If the weather goes well, the final Space Shuttle will launch today after 30 years of the Space Shuttle program. As much as I want to see it launch, I don't want to see it launch because I know it's the final one.

After thirty years of greatness, the story of the final shuttle launch doesn't even get a big headline on the major news websites. A certain trial that is already over is still top news right now. Time to take a step back from all of that and reflect on the incredible shuttle program. 

I got to see the first shuttle launch when I was just a little girl. I was on the opposite coast of Cape Canaveral, so what I saw was an enormous ball of fire moving across the sky. I understood how amazing it was that I could see that great ball of fire from so far away. I knew I had just witnessed the start of something spectacular.

I had moved to Florida in the middle of the school year just a year before the first shuttle launched. I sat down at my desk in a room full of strangers. These little strangers each had their own little books they had made, and they were each drawing in them or clipping and gluing pictures into their books. The teacher handed me some paper and told me that each child was working on their own book about the Space Shuttle.

I must have stared at her blankly because she said "You've heard of the Space Shuttle, right?" 

"No." I had never heard of it. 

She was shocked. "You've never heard of the Space Shuttle program?"

"No." I answered, as the children around me looked at me in disbelief. These Florida kids were well aware of what was about to happen there.

My teacher explained to me a children's version of what the Space Shuttle was. I understood what she meant when she mentioned a rocket. I had also seen Star Wars, so I knew about outer space. I just hadn't heard of a "space shuttle". But, I knew it had to be AWESOME because the kids were very enthusiastic about their clipping, gluing, and drawing.

Today I can't imagine NOT knowing what the Space Shuttle is. I feel like I grew up with it.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to grow up with it. I feel proud of NASA. I feel proud of all of the great minds that came together to make the Space Shuttle program happen. I feel proud of every astronaut. I feel proud to be American. This was a huge accomplishment for the United States, and I am grateful. Thank you to everyone who made it happen.




Thank you to  for posting the First Shuttle launch, The Columbia, on YouTube.